Parish History

As far back as 1859, Fr. Charles Coquerelle visited Catholic families in Chardon twice a year. This continued until 1869 when Fr.
Coquerelle’s health forced him to resign and return to France. For the next 40 years, Mass was celebrated only occasionally.

In 1908 Miss Katherine Nulty set in motion the financial and hard working spirit that allowed the church to be built at the corner of
Ferris Avenue and Park Street. It wasn’t until 1931 that the church was literally lifted and moved to it’s current location on the
corner of North Street and Chardon Avenue

Fr. James Maher was appointed as Pastor in 1943. The Altar and Rosary Society was formed, a youth group (The Mariateens) was
started, and a Parish Council of Women was organized.

Twenty one acres of land was purchased across the street in 1952 and the campaign for building the school began a year later.
The school was completed in 1961 and the new church was completed in 1962.

By the time St. Mary’s celebrated its 85th Anniversary, The Church of St. Mary had a membership of 1,950 families. The new
Church of St. Mary, a contemporary structure capable of seating 540 persons, featured an Italian majolica Madonna and an
interior of blue glazed brick.

In September 1996, an ambitious new campaign was launched. Plans called for a new Church of double capacity, additional
classrooms, a gym to be renovated from the current Church space, new cafeteria and a Banquet room and offices for the School
and Parish. The new Church was dedicated on October 17, 1999, new office space and meeting rooms were completed and opened
in March 2001. The stained glass windows were installed in April of 2002 just in time for longtime parishioner Fr. Zachary Kawalec
to celebrate his Ordination to the Priesthood and his Mass of Thanksgiving here. The Banquet room was opened in July of 2004.

As we look back to our 100th Anniversary celebration held in 2009, the continued growth and active parishioners give great joy and
wondrous hope for the future of The Church of St. Mary.