St. Mary Parish History

June 19, 1853: Cornerstone for the original church placed by Rev. Peter Carbon

Dec. 1853/Jan. 1854: Acquisition of land completed for the original church

September 24, 1854: Original church dedication by (Bishop) St. John Neumann

June/September 1860: Acquisition of two parcels of land for the cemetery

1886: “Difficulties” (of an unknown nature) caused the closing of the church

April 1907: Fire ignited the old shingle roof and threatens the deteriorating church. Neighbors extinguished the blaze with garden hoses

October 1914: Msgr. George Bornemann (of St. Paul Parish, Reading) oversees repairs to the church

August 29, 1915: Original church rededication; Rev. Scott A. Fasig appointed first resident pastor

April 1923:  Property at 508 Island Street purchased for a rectory

October 1954: The chapel at Roadside America in Shartlesville opened (open until 1976)

1955: A sacristy, stairway and second entrance were added to the church. Property at Fifth & State Streets purchased for parking

August 1958: Property at 426 State Street acquired as a potential future convent

September 1961: Capital campaign conducted for construction of a new parish hall

June 1962: Groundbreaking for the social hall (first construction project in 109 years!)

August 1963: New parish hall dedicated by Bishop Joseph McShea

1963: Parish given a 3-acre plot on State Street (present site of Weis King’s) for parking and possible site for a new church

1969: Properties on Island Ave. and two sites on State Street sold in order to purchase a 5-acre property at 766 State St. as a rectory and potential new church site

1999: Land on Walnut Rd in Tilden Township donated for the site of the new church

November 1999: Groundbreaking for the new church

December 8, 2000: New church dedication the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

2002:  Donation of an additional 5 acres of land for a new rectory site; Construction of a 3,000 square foot pavilion by volunteers of parishioners

October 2003: New rectory construction completed

December 8, 2003: 150th Jubilee Year celebration with Bishop Welsh includes the blessing of new rectory

2003: Capital campaign for a new education center and social hall addition to the church

2004: 150th Jubilee Year (September 25/26, 2004:  Jubilee weekend activities)

2005: Pavilion expanded to include a kitchen and restrooms. First annual Harvest Fest held

Spring 2007: Additional 13 acres of land donated

March 2007: Groundbreaking for a new education center and social hall

September 2007: After weeks of excavation, construction of the new facility began.

August 15, 2008: Blessing of the Religious Education Center

September 6, 2008: First religious education classes held in new facility and blessing of Ave Maria Social Hall

September 2008: Old church and social hall property on State Street was sold

October 2009: Bishop Barres blesses meditation gardens of Stations of the Cross, Rosary garden, and refurbished Sacred Heart Statue

July 2010: Pavilion was enlarged with a concrete pad addition.

Summer 2013: Original church on State Street razed by new owner on Feast of the Assumption of Mary