History and Tradition
History and Tradition
St. Mark has a long and storied history and tradition within the Catonsville community. We are very proud of our 125 years of prividing a quality Catholic and academic education to countless generations of families.
On October 7, 1888, Cardinal Gibbons’ journey to St. Mark to lay the cornerstone of the new church. As the Cardinal laid the cornerstone, he declared that the new church would be named in honor of St. Mark. The parochial school was completed, and the school was opened on September 2, 1889, staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. As the years passed, St. Mark became a vital and growing parish with substantial assets: a church, a rectory, a convent, and a school of approximately 165 cjo;drem. grpwomg tp 400 in 1936; and a hall consisting of an auditorium, gymnasium and bowling lanes.
A new school was begun in 1949 with the construction of the first wing. The parish progressed with increased vitality over the years with an active Holy Name Society, an annual communion breakfast, a baseball night, and an annual retreat; a very active Mother’s Club that helped the school financially and socially, the St. Mark Social Club that allowed for eligible young men and women of the parish to meet and socialize; and expanding youth activities to include: a baseball program, a football program, a basketball program, a soccer program and a lacrosse program. To meet the expanding enrollment of 1,000 students a second wing of the school was constructed in 1960, giving the school its now familiar H shape. The building process was continued and a new church was completed in the spring of 1962.
For over a century, the School Sisters of Notre Dame have served Saint Mark’s parish educating our children at the elementary level and training them in the love of God. The quality of the sisters’ teaching was rewarded with the continual growth of the school. In the 1960’s, classes were held in both the Melvin Avenue building and the building on Winters Lane now used by Mosiac Healthcare.
Kindergarten began at St. Mark in 1980. In 1988, the first lay principal of the school took up the reins from the administration of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The preschool program for three-and four-year-olds opened in 2000.
In May 2013, Maryland Association for the Environment and Outdoor Education awarded St. Mark Green School Status. The Maryland Green School Awards program is a framework for a holistic, integrated approach to authentic learning that incorporates local environmental issue investigation and professional development with environmental best management practices and community stewardship. St. Mark School was recertified as a Green School in the spring of 2021.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore named St. Mark School one of the three Archdiocesan schools to operate a PRIDE (Pupils Receiving Individualized Diversified Education) program. In its first year of the 2013-2014 school year, we welcomed 21 students into the kindergarten to grade 8. program. Following his retirement in 2021 and in honor of all that Father Whatley has done for St. Mark School, as a tribute to his love and passion for the St. Mark Students, starting with the 2021-2022 school year, the PRIDE program has been renamed The Reverend Christopher Whatley Program for Students with Learning Differences.