Of importance during this time was the work of Josephine Van Dyke Brownson, a parishioner who founded the Weinman Club in 1906 and started the Catholic Instruction League in 1911 in the parish school basement. This provided catechism instruction for children attending public schools. It later expanded under her supervision and became the church-wide Confraternity of Christian Doctrine program. Ms. Brownson received a medal from Pope Pius XI in 1933, the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame in 1939 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Detroit in 1939 because of this important work she did for the church.
SSPP also served the Maronite (Lebanese) community. Many baptisms and weddings were celebrated here in St. Catherine’s Chapel until 1916, when St. Maron Maronite Church was built in Detroit on Kercheval.
In the 1920s and 30s, the Jesuits grew their mission projects in Detroit, but in so doing, the importance of Ss. Peter and Paul declined. It was no longer the focal point of everything Jesuit. Most of the University of Detroit moved to the new McNichols campus in 1924, Gesu Church was established as another Jesuit base of operations, Manresa Retreat house opened and U. of D. High School moved to Seven Mile Rd. Thus, activities that had drawn people to Ss. Peter and Paul were no longer at the “mother church”. However, until the late 1950s the lecture series given by various Jesuits at Ss. Peter and Paul was said to still draw very large crowds.
In 1937, Detroit was elevated to an Archdiocese and Edward Francis Mooney was named as the first Archbishop. At that point the Archdiocese had more than 800 priests, 345 parishes, serving 602,000 Catholics. The population of Detroit was about 1.5 million.