Parish History

St. Mary’s History
Immaculate Conception Church, popularly called St. Mary’s Canton, was established with a school in 1899 to accommodate members of St John’s and St Peter’s who were living in the Southern section of Canton. The first Mass was celebrated in the basement on 24thof December 1899, and the completed structure was dedicated on May 20, 1900, under the pastor, Thomas R. Heimann. A new addition to the school building was completed in 1949.

St. Benedict’s History
In the Summer of 1923, the Most Reverend Joseph Schrembs established the parish of St. Benedict, placing it under the care of the Benedictine Fathers of the Archabbey of St. Vincent in Latrobe, PA. The Rev. James Spalding O.S.B was appointed as the first resident Pastor on August 4, 1923. In September of 1923, a temporary church was constructed. On Sunday, November 11, 1923, the first Mass was offered in the building, which was given the name of St. Benedict. The present church edifice was constructed and dedicated in 1925.

St. Mary/St. Benedict Parish History
On May 28, 2010, Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J., Bishop of Youngstown announced the merging of the Parishes of St. Mary and St. Benedict. These two Parishes officially merged on March 25, 2011 with a new name of St. Mary/St. Benedict Parish. The new St. Mary/St. Benedict Parish retained the worship sites of St. Mary’s Church and St. Benedict’s Church. The former rectory of St. Mary’s Church became the parish administrative offices while the rectory of former St. Benedict Church remained the Priest’s residence. The Rev. Benson Claret Okpara, Ph.D. was appointed as the Administrator of the new Parish. Under his leadership, there has been a steady increase in the parish enrollment.