Most Holy Trinity expands its Corktown footprint with community center, gym

The new Peter and Connie Cracchiolo Community Center is a sign of Most Holy Trinity's commitment to the future of Catholic education in Corktown, school officials say. The 10,000-square-foot facility includes a gymnasium, stage, classrooms, kitchen and community meeting space. (Valaurian Waller | Detroit Catholic)

Cracchiolo family donated funding for the 10,000-square-foot facility, which includes a new gym, kitchen, classrooms and community space

During September and October, Detroit Catholic is asking readers to prayerfully consider a gift to the Catholic Services Appeal, which funds more than 170 ministries vital to the Church in southeast Michigan, including this publication. Visit to support the mission by making a gift today. We are grateful for your generosity and prayers.

DETROIT — Most Holy Trinity Parish and School are proud of their legacy, and are laying foundations for the future.

In a small, private gathering Oct. 24, Most Holy Trinity officially opened the Peter and Connie Cracchiolo Community Center on the school’s Corktown campus, which features a new gymnasium, stage, kitchen, preschool room and gathering space for the parish and surrounding community.  

“This community center is a great investment in our Most Holy Trinity School and the church, the parish community as well as the local neighborhood,” Most Holy Trinity’s pastor, Msgr. Charles Kosanke, told Detroit Catholic. “This will help not only with sports, but programs for evangelization and Holy Trinity’s outreach programs.”

The center was 100 percent financed by the Cracchiolo family, longtime Most Holy Trinity supporters, said Colleen Moore, the parish and school’s director of communications. 

“Msgr. Kosanke had the vision for this facility shortly after becoming pastor in 2016,” Moore said. “We started thinking, ‘If we’re doing a gym, we might as well do an auditorium and other things like locker rooms, a multi-purpose room and a preschool room.’ As Corktown is developing and thriving, Most Holy Trinity wants to be part of that, becoming more attractive to families moving in with Ford’s expansion in the (former) Michigan Central Station.” 

An economic expansion has been taking place in Corktown for the better part of a decade, accelerated by the Ford Motor Company’s interest in the former train depot, a landmark in southwest Detroit. As housing developments, restaurants and businesses sprouted, Most Holy Trinity considered ways to make Catholic education more attractive to families in the area.

The new gym will be home to the parish and school’s athletic programs, including its CYO basketball team, which made an improbable run to the CYO finals in 2018, despite having no true “home court.” (Courtesy of Most Holy Trinity School)

Msgr. Kosanke reached out to the children of Peter and Connie Cracchiolo, who have been big supporters of the parish in the past, about building a gymnasium and activity center to increase the parish’s footprint in the area. 

“Peter and Connie Cracchiolo have been big supporters of Most Holy Trinity since the late 1980s, and now that they have passed away, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were here for this ceremony,” Moore said.

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron was on hand Saturday for a blessing of the new gym and community center, which will benefit the community for years to come.

Most Holy Trinity Parish was founded in 1834, and the parish school was opened three years later, making it one of the oldest continually operated Catholic schools in the country, according to the Detroit Historical Society.

Karina Lepkowski, principal at Most Holy Trinity School, said the donation and expansion is a sign that Most Holy Trinity will thrive in the neighborhood for the foreseeable future. 

“This is something we’ve been working on for a while,” Lepkowski said. “We have not had a gym or any space such as this in the many years of existence the school that has been here — over 150 years. 

The new community center is emblematic of the kind of education and dedication parents can expect from Catholic schools, Moore said.

“Catholic education has really stepped up with parishes across Metro Detroit and the archdiocese seeing an increase in enrollment as Catholic schools commit to in-person education,” Moore said. “This is a great moment for Catholic schools, and I think a lot of people who might not have looked at Catholic schools in the past are taking a hard look at the benefits of a Catholic education.” 

Members of Holy Trinity’s 2018 CYO junior varsity girls basketball team, the “fantastic five,” which made a Cinderella run to the CYO finals that was highlighted in the Detroit Free Press, along with their coach were on hand for the dedication. 

Aniah Thomas, Olivia Torres, assistant coach Roderick Thomas, Julianna Izzard and Kayla Roach, members of the 2018 CYO junior varsity girls basketball team that only had five players, stand in the new Peter and Connie Cracchiolo Community Center on Oct. 24. (Valaurian Waller | Detroit Catholic)

The team made its improbable run without playing any true home games, relying on rented space around the city for practice and games. 

Now, Holy Trinity athletic teams will have a place to call home.  

“We will no longer have to go search for a space to rent for our teams to practice,” Lepkowski said. “We’re thankful to our donors; we want them to know from the deepest part of our hearts that we’re very thankful for them, and they are truly a blessing for our community.” 

Beyond a boost for Most Holy Trinity athletics, the 10,000-square-foot facility will host Corktown neighborhood groups and be a regular gathering space for Most Holy Trinity Parish. 

“We have plans to create all kinds of programing that will bring the community together,” Moore said. “Most Holy Trinity is a thriving parish, with Mass every weekend and special events that are opportunities for evangelization at the parish. This center is a real boost to the entire school and parish community, showing the neighborhood we’ll still be here to serve.”