A Brief History of Saint Mark – The Beginnings
In 1899, in order to accommodate the increasing numbers of Catholic families who were crowding into the Ashmont section and found it hard to attend their parish church in Lower Mills, built a substantial wooden Chapel that would seat seven hundred people, and dedicated it to Saint Mark the Evangelist, with Saint Gregory’s being the “Mother Church”. . It had a brick foundation and was built at the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Roseland Street.
The territory around the new Chapel of Saint Mark began to fill up with homes so fast in the next five years that it became necessary to make Saint Mark an independent parish on December 17, 1905 when it was placed by Archbishop Williams under the care of Father John A. Daly.
The Boundaries of Saint Mark's Parish are the same today as they were in the beginning, and are as follows-on the North by Melville Avenue and Parkman Street; on the East by Adams Street; on the South by Ashmont Street, and on the West by Washington Street. With these tight boundaries Saint 'Mark's Parish is probably the smallest parish territorially in the whole country. It is only three quarters of a mile square, with the church in almost the exact center. Very soon after Father Daly took charge it became evident that soon he would have to build a larger church as well as a parish school and convent and to prepare for that rapidly expanding population. In May, 1910 the Gately Estate on Samoset Street for $7,500 and two years later the adjoining farm land extending to Centre Avenue for $3,000. This today is the site of the school and convent. Then in another two years he secured the large Driscoll Estate for $12,000 on which the present church is built.
In this same year, 1914 the new church was begun on the fourth of February and in less than a year it was ready for occupancy January 24, 1915. It was solemnly dedicated Sunday May 30, 1915 by His Eminence William Cardinal O'Connell, a college classmate of Father Daly. The new church is constructed of brick in Tudor Gothic style, with sandstone trim.