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.

1945-06-14 12:55:20

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.

1945-08-12 00:00:00

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.

1946-09-05 13:03:58

Newspaper Clippings

Click on more and then on the images to open up full picture.

1947-06-14 12:55:20


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.

1947-10-03 03:05:57

Parish Property

The first portion of our present parish property was placed in escrow on the Feast of St. Theresa, the Little Flower of Jesus. Later in this year and in 1948 additional property was acquired.

1948-07-25 09:29:54

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.

1949-08-05 07:51:35


Library opens with over 500 donated books and $112 worth of new books. 50 books were also checked out from the Cleveland Public Library on a rotating basis.

1949-08-22 11:06:23

First Floor Church Opens

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

1949-09-12 11:06:23

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.

1949-09-20 11:06:23

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.

1949-12-11 12:55:20

Building is Blessed

Gaudete Sunday, our new building was solemnly blessed and dedicated by Archbishop Hoban.

1950-03-08 18:13:12

First Confirmation

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

1950-06-11 12:55:20

First Graduation

The first graduation class had six boys and sixteen girls.

1950-06-11 12:55:20

First Communion

The first First Communion consists of forty-two kids.

1950-11-01 20:26:50

All Saints' Day

Newspaper Story: Halloween was restored to its ancient position as the Vigil of All Saints at St. Mark’s School, operated by the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, of Monroe, Mich., at 15724 Montrose Road N.W., yesterday. Above: Schoolchildren, garbed as their patron of favorite saints, march to school. Right: George Calhoun, 17904 Lakewood Heights Boulevard and Raymond Hess, 2122 Olive Avenue, Lakewood, both as St. George of England, and Margaret Patton, 16107 Edgecliff Avenue N.W. as St. Margaret

1950-11-24 18:13:12

Snow Storm

Big snow storm hits and we got 22 inches of snow.

1952-01-09 18:13:12

Convent and Rectory Built

Ground was broken and excavation started for St. Mark's convent and rectory.

1952-04-18 18:13:12

Good Friday

Stone cross is placed above second floor at 3:00 P.M. at the hour of our Lord's death.

1952-11-02 18:13:12

Sisters Move In

Sisters moved into the convent.

1953-02-02 18:13:12

First Drill

The first air-raid drill was practiced.

1954-09-04 07:15:57

Pictures and Memories of the 1950s

1955-01-07 06:39:40

New Principal - Sister Carleen Rees

Sister Carleen Rees starts as principal.

1955-09-01 00:59:28

Drama Productions

1956-09-04 14:51:01

St. Mark Families

800 families in St. Mark's Parish. 9 sisters and 2 lay teachers are guiding 486 children in the teachings of Christ. A Capital Expansion Fund Campaign is being conducted to keep our parish financially sound, and to make it possible for the proposed church-auditorium unit in the near future.

1959-07-26 14:51:01

New Church

First Mass in the new church.

1959-09-01 03:11:49

Classes of 1959

1962-10-02 00:35:39

New Principal - Sister Rita Marie Hughes

Sister Rita Marie Hughes starts as principal.

1965-09-15 21:28:55

Pictures and Memories of the 1960s

1967-06-29 14:24:18

New Principal - Sister Mildred Baker

Sister Mildred Baker started as principal.

1969-10-02 02:30:27

New Pastor - Father Heimann

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

1975-05-22 01:10:28

Pictures and Memories of the 1970s

1978-10-19 10:13:41

New Pastor - Father Wagner

Rev. James F. Wagner becomes Pastor of St. Mark.

1979-02-01 00:00:00

New Principal - Sister Judy Weirick

Sister Judy Weirick started as new principal.

1981-02-01 00:00:00

Sisters Move

Sisters moved into small house next to the Convent.

1983-02-01 00:00:00

Kindergarten Moves

Kindergarten moves to the old convent.

1983-10-01 00:00:00

Football Championship

St. Marks CYO football champions.

1985-06-07 02:38:36

Pictures and Memories of the 1980s

1988-01-13 13:33:13

New Pastor - Father Muzic

Rev. Anthony J. Muzic becomes Pastor of St. Mark.

1988-09-01 12:55:20

Peace Pole/After School Program

An after school program was started, and the peace poll was added.

1991-06-18 07:27:40

Modular Unit

Modular Unit is added.

1991-09-03 14:12:01


Preschool opens.

1993-09-01 07:27:40

New Gym/Community Center

The Gym and Community are built and open for business.

1995-11-16 07:27:40

Computer Lab

Computer Lab opens with 30 Mac computers. Take a look at our computers have changed over time!

1996-10-11 22:56:01

New Principal - Dr. Marilyn Kurnath

Dr. Marilyn Kurnath started as principal.

1997-02-02 07:43:40

Pictures and Memories of the 1990s

1997-09-23 15:05:56

New Pastor - Father Doug

Rev. Doug Koesel becomes Pastor of St. Mark.

2005-01-28 21:30:06


Classroom receive ActivBoards, which eventually get upgraded to ActivPanels in 2017.

2005-09-23 12:46:40

Pictures and Memories of the 2000s

2005-12-31 14:23:47

New Pastor - Father John

Rev. John Miceli becomes Pastor of St. Mark.

2010-01-01 00:00:00

Pictures of 2010s

History of St. Mark Parish

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