St Mary Catholic Church          4050 S. 3900 W., West Haven, UT 84401

About our Church

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The seeds of the present St. Mary's church and the new St. Mary's Parish really began October 21, 1945 when Santa Maria Mission on West 22nd Street in Ogden was dedicated by Bishop Duane G. Hunt.

Care for the spiritual needs of the Mission's people transferred to the California Province of the Society of Jesus in July 1954. Fr. Louis Kern S.J. was placed in charge of Santa Maria Mission. The following year in August of 1955 Fr. Neale Herrlich S.J. joined Fr. Kern. These two taught at St. Joseph's High School and took care of the Mission. Fr. Kern spent time organizing the Spanish Speaking people with invaluable help from the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Victory (OLVM). Construction of St. Mary's began about October 10, 1956. St. Mary's Church and parish was canonically constituted by Bishop Hunt and Dedication ceremonies were held September 8, 1957. Fr. Kern was appointed as Pastor and the Parish included, besides the Spanish speaking people, all the Catholics living in the area of West Weber, Roy, Hooper and the area around Riverdale. Fr. Kern retired to the position of Pastor Emeritus in 1974 and was succeeded by Fr. Herrlich. Fr. Kern celebrated his 50th anniversary as a Jesuit June 6, 1976 and was named to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem by Bishop William Weigand February 10, 1983. The Father Kern Pavilion for use in outdoor parish functions was dedicated September 20, 1981, in honor of Fr. Kern's long years of service to the parish.

On June 1, 1974 Fr. Herrlich was appointed Pastor of St. Mary's Parish and Superior of all Jesuit Communities of Utah. He retired from teaching in 1986 after 31 years of teaching and involvement which including founding the schools' Boosters Club. Fr. Herrlich oversaw replacement of the original windows with stained glass. The first twelve stained glass windows were blessed by Bishop William Weigand on June 4, 1985. The stained glass windows adjacent to the main entrance were completed in 1987. Fr. Herrlich was invested into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem December 18, 1988, and celebrated his Golden Jubilee, 50 years as a Jesuit in August 1989. The people of St. Mary's Parish were praised by Bishop Weigand at the dedication of the newly constructed Religious Education Center in November 1989 for making religious education a real priority for the parish.

In January, 1993, Martin I Rock, S.J. assumed duties as Pastor of St. Mary's Church and Superior of all Jesuit Communities in Utah. Fr. Rock energetically accepted his responsibilities. In addition to remodeling the parish offices and rectory in 1985, he instituted the Children's Sunday Liturgies at the 9:30 a.m. Mass every Sunday for Parish children and their families. The vibrancy of our community of faith is further enhanced through St. Mary's Parish Council, The Apostolate of the Holy Motherhood, St. Mary's Men's Club and the Council of Catholic Women (CCW); the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), Youth and Adult Education, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Our Lady of the Mountain Retreat House, and St. Mary's Youth Group. Fr. Rock celebrated his Golden Jubilee, 50 years as a Jesuit in August 1995.

St. Mary's greatest resource continues to be its people. It is often described as a warm and loving parish. It's people realize a generous and cooperative spirit is indispensable in furthering the Spiritual needs of their own families and neighbors.