- Associated Press - Sunday, June 29, 2014

DETROIT — Imagine calling a Sunday Mass and everyone shows up.

That’s the challenge that St. Joseph Catholic Church in Detroit faced Sunday, when hundreds of visitors showed up for services at the 141-year-old house of worship near Eastern Market.

The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News say that Sunday’s attendance was about 900, compared with the typical 100.

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The flood of visitors is part of the Detroit Mass Mob movement, which is modeled on a similar volunteer effort in Buffalo, New York.

Organizer Thom Mann says the goal is to highlight Detroit’s historic churches, where many people have longstanding family ties.

Hundreds gather for a Sunday service , June 29, 2014, at the 141-year-old St. Joseph Catholic Church near Eastern Market in Detroit.  The Detroit Mass Mob movement is an effort to highlight and support Detroit's historic yet struggling Catholic churches. It's the third outing for the fledgling Detroit Mass Mob movement, which was started in the spring by a few local Catholics who connected through social media.  (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Jarrad Henderson)  DETROIT NEWS OUT;  NO SALES
Hundreds gather for a Sunday service , June 29, 2014, at the ... more >

The 1.3 million-member Archdiocese of Detroit has been closing urban church in response to declining attendance by increasingly suburban Catholics.