History of St. Mark Parish

Bishop Edward Hoban chartered St. Mark Parish on June 14, 1945 appointing Reverend James Downie as founding pastor. Sunday masses were originally said in the Hayes School gym - fondly known as "St. Hayes". The first "St. Hayes" mass was celebrated on August 12, 1945. The diocese wanted to place the church on the corner of Warren and Montrose, but Fr. Downie insisted it be located at its present site. Three years later on July 25, 1948, ground was broken for a church/school building and completed in the summer of 1949.

New Pastor - Father Heimann

Rev. Casper A. Heimann becomes Pastor of St. Mark.

First Confirmation

The first Confirmation class was 28 boys and 25 girls from grades 4-6. Bishop Begin celebrated.

Our First Mass

The first Mass was celebrated at Hayes School gym. Masses were held here until the new school/church was opened in 1949.

Ground Broken

Parish breaks ground for new building. This building will serve as the church and school. Approximately $300,000 to $375,000 was spent to complete the new building.

Parish Established

St. Mark Parish was authorized by Archbishop Edward F. Hoban. Rev. James H. Downie was appointed as the founder and first pastor of 475 families in the parish boundries. Fr. Downie was pastor from 1945-1969.


With the appointment of Father Mark R. Blinn as assistant pastor of St. Mark's, the parish rectory moved from 3072 to 3114 West 159th Street to be able to accommodate an assistant.

First Floor Church Opens

On Monday, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our first Mass was said in our own new building.

First Classes

St. Mark School opened its doors for 220 pupils to be taught by the Sisters; Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Monroe, Michigan.

First Principal - Sister Bernadette

Sister Bernadette Sheridan is the first principal of our new school. Four Immaculate Heart of Mary nuns arrive to help start our school.

Sisters Move In

Sisters moved into the convent.

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