Parish History

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish began its life with 253 families in 1952. Mass was celebrated for the first time on January 11, 1953 by the founding pastor, Rev. Joseph M. Sullivan, in a little white stuccoed building, which had formerly served as the local public school. The building, which had been converted to a neighborhood community center, was leased by I.H.M. from the Andorra Association. Ground was broken on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1953, and construction began on the first building—a combination school and chapel, with a convent connected to the school corridor. The first floor of the main building contained a chapel that could accommodate 723 people. The second floor contained nine large classrooms and an office. The first school year opened September 8, 1954 with 171 students. The Sisters of St. Joseph moved into their new convent on November 21, 1954. As enrollment in I.H.M. School grew, needed classroom space was at a premium. Fr. Sullivan decided to start construction on a new church, therefore giving more classroom space to the school. Ground was broken on July 5, 1964, and Archbishop John J. Krol dedicated the spacious new Church on Sunday, August 22, 1965. Fr. Sullivan Hall was added in 1981 beside the school.