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*Friends of Father Michael Suhy's statement*
There was a pre-meditated effort by Fr. Michael’s enemies to close and sell the school property for a profit of nearly 5 million dollars. Fr. Michael refused to give in to the demands of the distinguished families, employees, and council members of the Parish. Because of this, he was removed as head pastor of Our Lady of Good Council (OLGC) by the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Fr. Michael had met with several parents at the beginning of the 2[phone redacted] school year to discuss any concerns they may have had. The parents all had one demand, which was to fire the principal. They expressed concern that there was “too much Jesus” in the school, and the balance between faith and academics was lost. Fr. Michael met with them a second time and they again demanded the principal be fired or else they would take action to undermine the school as well as Fr. Michael. A witness and a mediator were with Fr. Michael as $400,000 worth of funding was threatened.
In fall of 2019, an employee of OLGC notified Fr. Michael that they had been attending meetings with a group of influential members of the Plymouth Business Community (PBC) that were interested in purchasing the school’s property to create a center for families with special needs children. In October 2020, this same employee shared with Fr. Michael that the PBC hired them to write a faith curriculum for the new center.
Early 2020, Fr. Michael was told by a second employee that their spouse worked for a large real estate developer in Detroit and that the company was very interested in purchasing the school’s property for a future development. In September 2019, Fr. Michael became aware of the parishioners with money and power were interested in the closure and sale of the school’s property in Downtown Plymouth.
Fr. Michael did not agree to the demands of the influential families because he had been meeting with the school’s administration and wanted to investigate their concerns. Fr. Michael made the right decision to not react to the parents demands.
During his pastorship, Fr. Michael communicated frequently with the superintendent of the Archdiocese of Detroit school district, who assured him that he and Mrs. Hunt were doing an exceptional job and they saw their progress at the school as exemplary implementation of the Archbishop’s vision for catholic schools.
During his time as head Pastor, Fr. Michael formulated a sustainable budget for the 2[phone redacted] school year, cut operating costs by 10%, and reduced the parish’s financial support to the school by 40%.
Late summer 2020, as part of a parish visit to review his leadership, Fr. Michael met twice with the Archdiocese of Detroit CFO to address the Parish school. In the first meeting, the CFO highlighted that the school had an unsustainable 5-year trend, increasing expenses and decreasing income. A second meeting took place 11 days later with Fr. Michael, his finance council chair, and head accountant. They had demonstrated that the 5-year trend was reversed. While this is great news, the CFO said, “I’m not interested in the numbers”.
From March 2020 through May 2020, a finance council member constantly argued that Fr. Michael should close the school. They stated, “The school is going to be the ruin of the parish, and many people here don’t even want a school”. The council member told Fr. Michael that if he wanted the Parish’s financial support for the school, the council member would report Fr. Michael to the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Two OLGC employees and one OLGC finance council member along with other employees of the Archdiocese had a hand in removing Fr. Michael.
Why was he removed when OLGC and the school were thriving?
Fr. Michael Suhy’s Priesthood was threatened over his devotion to the faith and not yielding solely to other’s monetary interests.
Fr. Michael would not remain silent before the poor handling of a sexual harassment allegation and he would not give into pressure from those who did not have the best interest of the Parish and Parish school in mind.
- Margaret M Huestis
- Michelle Campbell
- DENNIS GUCKIN
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