Hello, and welcome to St. Mary Our Lady of the Snows Parish/School! Located on Rt. 42 (Ashland Rd.), 1.1 miles north of Rt. 30, our parish is located on 20 acres of spacious grassy fields.
Founded on August 5, 1949, the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows, our original site was located on the corner of Newman, Grace and Wayne Streets. The old Newman School was purchased for $35,000 and now all Catholics north and east of the Pennsylvania railroad were now member of St. Mary’s Parish.
The school building became adapted for church use. The church was located in the lower section of the building, while the other side of the building became the school. Above the church was to the parish hall, while the third floor would be used for the Sisters’ living quarters. Ten classrooms were made ready for the fall term of the following year. The first Masses were celebrated in the completed church on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1950. The Sisters of Mercy were engaged to teach the children of St. Mary School. The school opened on September 18, 1950, with 14 students. Due to the hard work and generous spirit of financial supporters, especially members of the Justine Sterkel and Scholl families, the parish continued to be well furnished and supplied.
Knowing that the Newman St. location was, from the beginning, only a temporary arrangement, the current property of St. Mary’s was purchased on November 9, 1961 for $83,366.20. Eight years later, at a cost of $641,424.00 the new school was opened on August 5, 1969. Exactly 20 years after the formation of the parish. Masses were held at the Newman St. location until November 1, 1971, when the old site was sold at auction for $25,000. There is a park and a playground now where the old church/school building used to stand.
Ten years later, with the debt of $175,000 eliminated, plans were finally drawn up on May 20, 1981 for the new church. The entire construction contract was accepted for a total of $962,253.00. On June 20, 1982, the 400 east new church was formally dedicated.
Due to declining vocations and school enrollment, the Sisters of Mercy, after 35 years of dedicated service to St. Mary’s children departed our parish and school and in August of 1985, St. Mary’s accepted her first lay principal.
Currently comprised of about 1,254 souls and some 500+ families, St. Mary’s remains a hospitable and faithfilled parish of active and supportive parishioners. Fr. Nelson Bever is the tenth pastor of St. Mary’s. Two permanent deacons assist him, Mr. Alan Kopp and Mr. Fred Stockmaster. Our twelfth principal in the school’s history is currently Mrs. Sue Sanders.
Active parish organizations and committees include: The Rosary Altar Society, the Pastoral Council, the School Advisory Committee, The Knights of Columbus Council #4448, the Christian Formation Committee, the Parent Teachers organization (PSP), the Adult Choir, the Children’s Choir, the Folk Ensemble, Ministers of Holy Communion, Lectors, Ushers, Altar Servers, the Liturgy Committee, the Mothers Club, the Buildings and Grounds Committee, Garden Club, Hospital Ministry, Mens Venite Adoremus, Children’s Liturgy, CCD, Early Childhood, the Finance Committee, the Festival Committee, the Funeral Luncheon Committee and the Funeral Planning and Bereavement Committee.
Current School/Parish secretaries are Mrs. Mary Rennpage and Mrs. Aimee Campbell. Our current school enrollment, grades Pre-School through 8th Grades, totals 150. All are welcome at St. Mary’s. Please join us and discover this wonderful parish under the care of our Blessed mother Mary.