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Detroit Church Declared A Basilica By Pope Francis

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit church has been declared a basilica by Pope Francis, a rare honor for a Roman Catholic parish in the U.S., officials announced Sunday.

Ste. Anne Church is one of only 86 churches in the United States, including three in Michigan, to carry the title of Minor Basilica, the Archdiocese of Detroit said.

Ste. Anne parish, near the Detroit River, began in 1701 and is the second-oldest continuously operating Catholic parish in the U.S., with 575 families, the archdiocese said. The current church was built in 1886.

"To demonstrate it met criteria for becoming a Minor Basilica, Ste. Anne extensively documented its heightened liturgical activity and its architectural stature. ... It contains many artifacts from the so-called stone church, the church building that preceded the present structure," the archdiocese said.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron will celebrate the designation at a Mass on April 26.

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