History of St. Mary's Cathedral

Our Lady of Peace Mission

1873 – Father Constantine Scollen founds Our Lady of Peace Mission, the first mission in southern Alberta.

1875 – Father Scollen and Father Leon Doucet move the mission to a hut near the site of what becomes Fort Calgary, then within months moves again to the present Holy Cross Hospital.

1882 – Father Lacombe takes charge of the mission.

1883 – Settlers in East Calgary build a church called St. Patrick.

1884 – Father Lacombe secures homestead property for the mission – the area known as the Mission District. A new mission building is erected on what is now the grounds of Sacred Heart Convent.

1884 – The CPR locates in an unexpected place. The settlers in East Calgary move to be near the railway, bringing St. Patrick church with them. The church is left on a temporary site.

1885 – The Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus arrive and are given the new mission building to serve as their convent. St. Patrick’s church is moved to the site of the present parish hall and renamed Our Lady of Peace.

The First St. Mary’s

1887 – The foundations are laid for a new church on the site of the present cathedral.

1889 – The new church, a sandstone building named St. Mary’s, is completed.

1905 – St. Mary’s parish hall (later the C.N.R. Station and now Alberta Ballet) is built.

1910 – Previously a mission church, the parish was canonically erected on April 26, 1910, by Bishop Legal under the name of the Immaculate Conception.

1912 – The Diocese of Calgary is formed.

1913 – John Thomas McNally becomes the first Bishop of Calgary. (Transferred to Hamilton, Ontario 1924, Died 1952)

1925 – John Kidd becomes Bishop. (Transferred to London, Ontario 1931. Died 1950)

1932 – Peter J. Monahan becomes bishop. (Transferred to Regina 1935. Died 1947)

1935 – Francis P. Carroll becomes bishop. (Officially resigned 1966. Died 1967)

St. Mary’s Cathedral

1955 – A new parish hall is built to serve as a church during the construction of the new St. Mary’s.

1957 – The new Cathedral is completed and consecrated on December 11.

1966 – Msgr. John S. Smith, rector of the cathedral for 42 years – (Deceased August 6, 1966).

1966 – Rev. Joseph Toole appointed Rector.

1967 – Francis J. Klein becomes bishop. (Died 1968)

1968 – Paul J. O’Byrne, a native born Calgarian, is ordained bishop of the Calgary Diocese.

1969 – Rev. Stanley Henke appointed Rector.1970 – Temporary renovations to conform with Vatican II directives on liturgy. Pastoral directions – Rector, Rev. Stan Henke.

1972 – Rev. Reginald P. Sullivan appointed Rector of St. Mary’s

1979 – Rev. James Jordan appointed Rector.

1982 – Rev. William S. Stephenson appointed Rector.

1988 – Interior renovation of St. Mary’s Cathedral. Pastoral directions – Rector, Bill Stephenson.

1993 – Rev. Lawrence J. Bagnall appointed Rector.

1997 – Celebration to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Dedication of the present St. Mary’s Cathedral to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

1998 – Retirement of Bishop Paul O’Byrne. Bishop O’Byrne served as Bishop of Calgary for 31 years.

1998 – Bishop Frederick B. Henry of London, Ontario was installed as the seventh Bishop of Calgary on March 19, 1998.

2008 – Very Reverend Gregory Coupal, V.F. appointed Rector.

2014 – Very Reverend Robert Dielissen appointed Rector.

2017 – Bishop W. T. McGrattan of Peterborough was installed as the eighth Bishop of Calgary on February 27, 2017.

2020 – Very Reverend John Nemanic appointed Rector.