A HISTORY OF ST. MARK PARISH
FROM GOD’S GARAGE TO GOD’S GLORY
1965 through 2015
THE EARLY YEARS
St. Mark Parish was established by Archbishop Joseph McGucken effective 9/1/1965.
The congregation was formed by parishioners from Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) and St. Gregory’s who were told that boundaries had changed and they were to become part of a new parish – which initially had no physical location or name.
The first pastor was Fr. William Flanagan and since the parish needed a place to hold services, he found an automotive garage at 785 Old County Road to use. Folding chairs were set up and the confessional was put in the garage office.
The parish was named St. Mark and the first mass was said on September 12, 1965. The first social gathering was a Halloween dance and it gave the parishioners a chance to get to know
each other. The group bonded immediately and St. Mark’s became a family.
In 1969 Fr. David Walsh became pastor and Redwood Shores became part of the parish.
Of course, there was still no church or rectory, so mass continued in the garage, and Fr. Walsh resided in a home in Sterling Downs.
Everyone had to keep their sense of humor during those early “garage” years with birds in the rafters, the summer heat, and rainwater floods. But to the parishioners, it was their place of worship and was fondly referred to as “God’s Garage”.
In 1966 the parish learned that St. Gregory’s old church would be moved and become St. Mark’s new church.
On 11/8/1966 the building was actually moved to the Marine View lot. Unfortunately, after the move, the fire marshal deemed the building unsafe and in April 1970, it was used instead for fire department training.
So, it was left to the parishioners to build a new church…