Join Our Mailing List

Enter Your Email Address
* indicates required
Facebook Twitter

We Need Your Help

Our Mission

Sponsor the Cause
Donations are not tax deductible.

Donate Gift Cards

Please Become A Volunteer
Email us at

Share your stories
and pictures with us.

Email us at

Help us when you shop online!

Cemetery Locator's






120x60 (animated)

St. Joseph Shrine Catholic Church Brooklyn, MI

By: Dawn of Michigan Ghosts

Nestled in the rolling hills of Michigan’s Irish Hills is a beautiful spot many people don’t even know exists. I am talking about St.Josephs Shrine, a fascinating and unique structure built into the side of a steep hill next to Iron Lake.

Most of the original stations, built between 1932 and 1936, are still standing. All of the original mosaic tiles still exist. Located at the site of an early religious settlement established in the late 1790s by Father Gabriel Richard, minister to the Potawatomi Indians. The church is a combination of the original fieldstone chapel, erected by Irish settlers in the mid-1840s, and a 1929 addition.


As part of the 1929 expansion, the shrine inspired by the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, was added to the historic church and cemetery. In 1932 work began on the 14 outdoor stations of the cross, which depict scenes of the Via Dolorosa (the sorrowful way) that Jesus walked to Calvary.


Mexican artisans sculpted the wet cement to resemble the steps, arch ways and pathways to resemble trees, an art form that can also be seen in the many bridges at McCourtie Park, in Somerset, MI.


Shells, mosaic tiles, and semi-precious stones are used in many of the stations as you traverse along the pathways.


Through the years, much damage has been done, although the church is doing its best to rebuild and uphold what is still there, and it is an inspiring and interesting site for anyone to explore, though not handicap accessible.


Along with the Shrine of the Hills, the Church itself is a fascinating historical sight, as is the adjacent cemetery. St. Josephs was originally a missionary starting in the 1850’s. Priests from Adrian, Clinton, Manchester, Tecumseh, and Monroe all served the parish here until its first permanent priest arrived in 1954.


The original church, which still stands, was erected in 1854.


If you are interested in history, religion, cemeteries, art work, or Spanish architecture, I recommend a day trip to St. Jospehs Shrine, in Irish Hills Michigan. You will not regret this truly unique experience.


Comments are closed.

Porcelain Memorial Plaques

Order from us the same high
quality porcelain memorial plaques sold
by retail monument dealers at
a fraction of the cost.



Preservation Project Links

Products & Services

Blog Categories


120x60 (animated)
Please use our small banner on your website.
Copy and past this code below:
Thank You!

Contact Us
Volunteer Disclaimer
Privacy Policy
Copyright Policy
Website Disclaimer
Terms and Conditions

Consumer Notice: This Website
is Supported by affiliate

Search 59.3 million cemetery records at

by entering a surname and clicking search: