Niles St. Mark’s Parish to celebrate 60 years

Published 9:28 am Friday, October 9, 2015

Like most churches, St. Mark’s Parish started from humble beginnings — first holding mass in rented gymnasium space at Oak Manor School in Niles in 1955.

Today, St. Mark’s has more than 225 member families and celebrates mass in beautiful church with seating for more than 400 people.

Church leaders and members are inviting the community to celebrate St. Mark’s 60th anniversary this weekend at the church, which is located at 3 N. 19th St. in Niles.

The celebration is scheduled to begin with mass at 10 a.m. Sunday followed immediately by a reception with pastries, cookies and punch.

Bishop Paul Bradley will lead the church service.

“It is a milestone,” said St. Mark’s member Jackie Younger. “60 years in huge.”

In looking back at the history of the church, Younger said she was impressed to learn how the entire community pitched in to help raise money and construct the permanent church at a cost of $210,000 in the 1960s.

The St. Mark’s Ushers Club, under the direction of Father Francis E. Timmons, sponsored the first fundraising project — a show featuring WLS National Barn Dance personalities in the Niles High School Auditorium on April 26, 1967.

Construction of the permanent church was completed in 1968 and the first mass was held there in November of that year.

Throughout the years, Younger said St. Mark’s Parish has benefitted from a longtime affiliation with priests and nuns from Holy Cross Congregation who continue to serve the parish.