Parish History

St Mary Catholic Church has her roots in the pioneer days when Fr. James Croke rode the circuit, saying Mass for the Catholic settlers in the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon. Now over 150 years old, St Mary parish continues to minister to the needs of Catholics in the heart of Corvallis.

1853 – The first Masses were celebrated in Marysville, near Corvallis, by Fr. James Croke.

1861The first parish church was built in Corvallis. at 4th and Adams. Total price: $1,300.00.

1912 – The original church was moved to the edge of the stmarys-old4th and Adams property to make way for a new and larger church. At that time the old church became the first Newman Center as well as the social hall for parishioners.

1946 – Ten acres were purchased at North 25th and Taylor from the estate of Sam Dolan.

1951 – The school building was erected on the current property and dedicated on October 14. It opened with eighty pupils and was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Newark.

1968 – John Storrs and Associates were hired as architects. The church was dedicated during Thanksgiving week. The St. Vincent de Paul building, the Upper and Lower Social Halls, and the current Pastoral Center were all completed also.

CRS_7285 copy1971– The school closes.

1986– The 125th anniversary of the parish is celebrated.

1989– The parish pays off the parish debt.

1994 – St. Mary’s opens the Perpetual Adoration Chapel.

1996 – An industrial style kitchen is installed in the gym for the use of the parish and Stone Soup, the city of Corvallis’ soup kitchen.

1999– A new bell tower is dedicated on Christmas Eve. The bell was from the original church.

2001 – The old school building receives new paint and carpeting. Ceilings are lowered and insulated and new windows are installed.

CRS_3372 copy2008 – Extensive renovations of the church are started. A bronze crucifix is hung behind the altar. The organ and Marian chapel are moved. New windows and lighting are installed. A baptism font is created. New carpeting and floors are installed and new bathrooms are added. A new ambo and lecturn are designed.

2011 – Parish celebrates 150th anniversary.