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July 10, 1992 - Image 79

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-07-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


ope John Paul II
recognized a jewel
when he visited
the Orchard Lake
Schools. "If the Orchard Lake
Schools did not exist, it would
be necessary to create them,"
said the pope on his 1976 vis-
it, when he was a cardinal.
The 120 acres of magnifi-
cent grounds include mature
trees, lush vegetation and
stately buildings. This hidden
treasure, concealed from
West Bloomfield's highways,
is home to 18 buildings. The
landmark, located where In-
dian Trail meets Orchard
Lake Road, is designated a
Michigan Historical Site and
is on the National Register of
Historical Sites.
Since its inception in 1885,
the Orchard Lake Schools,


previously known as the Pol-
ish Seminary, has graduated
16,000 students. Their pre-
paratory school and college
students, including some who
are Jewish, now come pri-
marily from the suburbs of
West Bloomfield, Bloomfield
Hills, Birmingham and
Farmington Hills. There are
also some students from oth-
er states and countries.
"We are really proud of the
quality education here. Prob-
ably in the last 10 years, our
average of students going on
to college would be something
like 99.9 percent," said Mon-
signor Stanley Milewski, an
Orchard Lake School gradu-
ate who has been at the
school more than 40 years.
The schools were initially
located in East Detroit. In

1909 Father Vetold Buchac-
zowski discovered the Michi-
gan Military Academy in
Orchard Lake was up for sale
at an auction. He bid $86,000
for the 120 acres and nine
buildings. The campus in-
cludes a high school, college
and seminary.
One edifice named the Cas-
tle was built in 1858. It was
first a private residence and
then became part of the Or-
chard Lake Hotel. In the mid-
1880s the castle served as a
military headquarters, equip-
ped with observation posts.
Of architectural interest is
the Shrine-Chapel of Our
Lady of Orchard Lake built
in 1963, which has six private
chapels inside. The 50-foot
mahogany beams are sur-
rounded by natural field-

The Pope John Paul II
Center includes a library,
archives, gift shop and pub-
lishing center. The center
welcomes visitors. Guided
tours of the entire campus are
Because of its beautiful
physical setting, the Orchard
Lake Schools is an attraction
for West Bloomfield residents
and others looking for an oa-
sis in the midst of a rapidly
developing area.
Dorothy Friedl, executive
director of the West Bloom-
field Chamber of Commerce,
toured there last year. "I was
amazed at the grounds," she
said. "You don't realize how
beautiful it is riding past.
Hidden jewel is the perfect
description." D

Left: The high school
campus of Orchard Lake
Below: The chapel at
Orchard Lake Schools.

Photos by Glenn Triest


WB 19


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