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St. Mary's Timeline History

St. Mary’s Catholic Church History

Sherman, Texas

  • 1872 – The first masses for the Sherman community are celebrated in the room of Mr. and Mrs. A Wasson at the Phoenix Hotel in Sherman by Father Theodore Bufford (Circuit Rider to Cathedral: How the Diocese of Dallas came to be, Steven Landregan, 2002; Dallascatholic.org/history, 2024; Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).  
  • 1874 – St. Mary’s Parish in Sherman is established.  Father Tom Hennessey, Father Thions and Father Sevnard alternate travel to Sherman to celebrate mass for the community.  (Diocese of Dallas Archives: 1936 Texas Centennial Commission Report)
  • 1875 – The congregation of St. Mary’s constructs a small chapel on land donated to their community at the corner of Travis Street and Eagle Lane (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1876 – Construction of St. Mary’s chapel is completed in July (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1877 – St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy is constructed next to the chapel and staffed by the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur (Texas Catholic, December 9, 1967).
  • 1881 – Bishop Claude Dubuis undertakes his final journey to North Texas and confirms thirty-three individuals at St. Mary’s (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1883 – The Bishop Nicolaus Aloysius Gallagher makes his first visit to St. Mary’s from Galveston-Houston and confirms twelve individuals (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1885 – Bishop Gallagher returns and confirms an additional sixteen individuals at St. Mary’s.  In June, the first mission is preached in the chapel of St. Mary’s.
  • 1886 – St. Mary’s first Altar Society is organized.  Bishop Gallagher confirms fourteen individuals. (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1891 – Bishop Thomas Francis Brennan, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas, visits the town of Sherman (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1893 – On May 14th, Bishop Fitzgerald of Little Rock, Arkansas, visits St. Mary’s and confirms 31 individuals (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1896 – In the wake of a tornado that impacted west Sherman, the Sisters of St. Mary’s offered to convert the school into a hospital (neither the church nor the school were damaged). 
  • 1897 – Bishop Edward Joseph Dunne visits St. Mary’s to administer confirmation, and fifteen individuals were confirmed (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1901 – St. Mary’s community begins fundraising for a new church building, raising $1,700.00 at a Fall fair (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1904 – The Sisters of St. Mary of Namur construct additions of a high school and auditorium to the academy (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).  
  • 1905 – Construction of St. Mary’s new church building in Sherman begins, designed by Nicholas Clayton, the same architect who designed the National Shrine Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the cornerstone for St. Mary’s is laid on November 26th (OCD, 1905).
  • 1906 – The final mass was celebrated in the old chapel on July 26th.  In their newly completed church, the congregation of St. Mary’s celebrates their first mass on the Feast Day of St. Anne (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).  
  • 1913 – Bishop Joseph Patrick Lynch travels to Sherman and confirms over fifty men and women (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1925 – The old church and rectory are moved to the corner of Walnut street and Eagle lane, and constructed to form a Knights of Columbus Hall.  A new rectory is constructed, facing Eagle lane.  The community purchases a lot on South Travis street from Mrs. McManus (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1935 – St. Mary’s in Sherman begins extensive remodeling the church, adding floodlights and runners for the floor, repainting the church building, rebuilding the altar, and refinishing the altar rail and the pews (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1952 – Formerly St. Joseph’s Academy (renamed St. Mary’s in the mid-late 1960’s) undergoes construction, with several buildings demolished and a two-story modern building constructed shortly before the 75th anniversary of the Academy (Texas Catholic, June 28, 1996; Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1965 – Previously part of the school, the Convent at St. Mary’s was reestablished in a building between the school and the church that was purchased (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1966 – The parish acquires the school from the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur in October, St. Joseph Academy is renamed St. Mary’s School (Texas Catholic, December 9, 1967).
  • 1972 – St. Mary’s Catholic School adds a kindergarten (Texas Catholic, June 26, 1996).
  • 1987 – Land is donated to the community of St. Mary’s from Leona Marian O’Hanlon and Madeline C. O’Hanlon, which would later contribute to the site of St. Anne’s Catholic Church (Texas Catholic, March 6, 2009). 
  • 1988 – St. Mary’s Catholic School constructs a preschool addition (Diocese of Dallas Archives, 2024).
  • 1996 – As ministry needs continue to mount, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur depart from education in Sherman after 119 years of service (Texas Catholic, June 28, 1996).
  • 2002 – Bishops’ Benedictus Banquet at Holy Trinity Seminary honors youth from numerous parishes, including St. Mary’s, for their outstanding leadership capabilities (Texas Catholic, August 30, 2002).
  • 2006 – St. Mary’s Quilters fashion 10th quilt in a continuing effort to fundraise via raffles for a new church building (Texas Catholic, September 22, 2006).
  • 2009 – St. Anne’s Catholic Church is constructed opposite St. Mary’s to meet the needs of the growing population, then-Bishop Kevin J. Farrell celebrates a dedication Mass in May for St. Anne’s (Texas Catholic, May 29, 2009).
  • 2016 – The Catholic Foundation awards St. Mary’s a grant to replace the roofs of their buildings and St. Mary’s Catholic School receives a Tuition Assistance grant.
  • 2020 – Bishop Edward J. Burns visits with Ernesto Orellana Pena, a parishioner at St. Mary’s who was homebound (Texas Catholic, March 20, 2020).
  • 2021 – Bishop Edward J. Burns celebrates Easter Mass at St. Mary’s in Sherman via televised broadcast (Texas Catholic, April 16, 2021).  In the midst of COVID-19, Bishop Burns meets via video conference with various parishioners, including members of St. Mary’s in Sherman, to pray the rosary (Texas Catholic November 12, 2021).  Through “Hands from Home,” a service project, St. Mary’s participates in restoring cemetery headstones at Holy Redeemer Cemetery (Texas Catholic July 16, 2021).  
  • 2022 – St. Mary’s installs a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the entrance of St. Mary’s Catholic School in May.  A brick rosary walkway was additionally constructed.  (Texas Catholic, May 20, 2022).
  • 2023 – Students at St. Mary’s Catholic School decorate signs to welcome golfers to the 2023 Bishop’s Invitational.  St. Mary’s Catholic School is awarded a grant from the Catholic Foundation to assist in improved security (Texas Catholic, 2023).  
  • 2024 – St. Mary’s will celebrate their 150th Anniversary.