About Us

Our Mission Statement

St. Charles Borromeo, a diverse parish rooted in Detroit, Christ’s Gospel and Catholic tradition, strives to build a community of faith through education, worship and evangelization.  We are called to carry on Christ’s ministry to our brothers and sisters, especially the sick and their families, the elderly, youth, and the disabled.  With Mary as our example of unconditional love, we strive to welcome everyone to share joyfully in the peace, love and salvation of Jesus Christ. We acknowledge that it is the Holy Spirit who calls and empowers us, who strengthens and renews us, and who gives us the will to continue our mission until Jesus comes again in glory.


St. Charles was established in 1886 in a largely Belgian area. The first church was a small frame building on Field Avenue, between Agnes and St. Paul and was built mostly by parishioners. The parish school held classes in the church building. By 1897 the parish included members of French, Belgian, German, Scotch, and Irish ancestry. By 1920, most of the 3,000 members of the parish were American born. Even enlarged, the old frame church could not accommodate the congregation and construction of a new building was begun in 1918. The Detroit architect and parishioner Peter Dedericks designed the new church in early Renaissance-Romanesque style. The basement of the new church building housed the elementary school. The school building next to the church housed the high school. Both the school building and the rectory were built in 1912 and still stand.

In the 1960's and 70's St. Charles, like many city parishes faced dwindling membership and struggled to survive. The school was closed and the building was eventually sold. In the 1980's St. Charles faced closure. This sad end was averted under the leadership of Father David Preuss, OFM, Capuchin. The small core of remaining parishioners banded together to implement roof repairs, boiler replacement, and began to rebuild their community. An ambitious project was undertaken to involve the parish in both neighborhood and church restoration. The church renovations included a total repainting of the interior in a style complimenting its design and adding several ceiling murals to represent the multi-ethnic community of the parish. Additional work in the church included lighting and electrical upgrades and maintaining the Wurlitzer pipe organ (one of only two of its type remaining in service). The parish was designated a Historic District on June 20, 1986 and was re-dedicated in November of 1995.

Today, the St. Charles parish is a true representation of the diversity of the metropolitan Detroit area. Under the current leadership of Monsignor Daniel J. Trapp. St. Charles has grown not only in membership, but in dedication to being a very strong anchor in the neighborhood and the parish continues to serve the spiritual and human needs of the near east side neighborhood it has served for more than 125 years.

Monsignor Daniel J. Trapp

Monsignor Trapp was appointed Moderator of the In Solidum team of priests who, with the other priests of the team, will lead the newly formed Renaissance Vicariate Family 2 (Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Detroit; Sacred Heart Parish, Detroit; St. Augustine and St. Monica Parish, Detroit; St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Detroit; St. Elizabeth Parish, Detroit), effective July 1, 2021. Monsignor Trapp is currently serving as Pastor of St. Augustine and St. Monica Parish, Detroit.

Monsignor Daniel J. Trapp was born in Detroit, Michigan to John and Barbara Trapp on January 1, 1958.  He attended Catholic and public schools in the Detroit area.  After attending the University of Michigan for two years, he enrolled in Sacred Heart Seminary, from which he graduated with a major in history in 1980.  He studied at the North American College in Rome where he received a bachelor’s degree in theology (STB) from the Gregorian University in 1984, a license in theology (STL) in sacramental theology (a specialization of dogmatic theology) from the Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo in 1987 and a doctorate (STD) in sacramental theology in 1989. 

He has taught at Sacred Heart Major Seminary’s School of Theology from 1989 until the present (in both adjunct and full time capacities).  He is currently an associate professor of theology. 

Previously, Monsignor Trapp directed the Archdiocesan Office of Catechetics/Religious Education for three years.  He has been a pastor of parishes in the city of Detroit since 1991.  Father Trapp served as pastor of All Saints (Detroit),  St. Andrew/St. Benedict (Detroit) and Holy Cross (Detroit).  He served as administrator of Divine Providence Parish (Southfield).  He has been pastor of SS. Augustine and Monica since 1996.  He has served as Spiritual Director of the School of Theology since 1995. 

2017,  October 19-22, took part in Federation of Seminary Spiritual Directors conference in Toronto, Canada.

2017, 28-30th November gave Priests Convocation for the Diocese of Venice, Florida

2018 Jan 7-12, preached retreat at St. Vincent DePaul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida

2018  Feb 28-March 4  with Bishop Battersby, presented on “Virtues and Seminary Formation” for the Seminary Research Council at St. Vincent DePaul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida