Most Holy Rosary Parish was originally founded in 1913 with the guidance of Father Mahon. What started as a small parish formed around the Most Holy Rosary Elementary School began to grow and expand. With Father Mahon’s guidance, ground was broken for the present church on August 15, 1927. In one year the exterior of the church has been completed and Bishop Curley dedicated the cornerstone on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, October 8, 1928. Mass was offered in the basement auditorium until 1938.
Father Mahon, who had been the founding pastor and presided over the first years of the parish’s growth, died on June 27, 1930, having served the people of Most Holy Rosary Parish for seventeen years. Bishop Curley appointed appointed Monsignor Howard C. McDowell to be the second pastor and encouraged him to go on with the work of completing the unfinished church. This was no mean task, since the country was in the Depression, and the parish has a half-million-dollar debt. With financial pressures mounting, the school almost closed, but due to the “Save Our School Campaign” in 1933, and Bishop Duffy’s assistance, along with lower interest rates, the school remained open.
The people of the parish came together as a community to help complete the church interior. Not only by financial contributions, but also by personal gifts was the church eventually completed. Old gold was collected for the memorial chalice used in the memorial celebration, and veterans contributed their bonus money for the Memorial Peace Window. Their contributions were the basis for the funds that made the Rose Window a gift from the people of the parish.
In the 1940’s the Miraculous Medal Altar was added to the interior, as well as a bronze sanctuary lamp and the carved stations of the cross. In 1949 a statue of Our Lady was added to the school tower. The next decade witnessed additional changes, such as the stained glass windows, the Altar of the Sacred Heart and the Bronze Baldachin Altar. In 1943 the parish celebrated its fortieth anniversary with the dedication of the main altar and a Mass of Thanksgiving. Another addition was the Parish Center, completed in 1960, which houses a cafeteria, classrooms and a gymnasium.
In 1964, Monsignor McDowell retired after presiding over the Golden Jubilee of the parish in 1963. He had served as pastor for thirty-four years.
His successor, Monsignor John J. Tierney, served until his death in 1975. During these years the priests moved into the new rectory, and in 1974 the convent was built on the site of the original rectory.
After sixty years of growth and a successful building program, the people of the parish continued to worship and pray and grow in the spiritual life. After Monsignor Tierney’s death, Reverend J. Robert Quigley served as fourth pastor for one year. He was succeeded by Monsignor Robert F. Lavin.
Under the pastorship of Monsignor Lavin, the Parish Council was established as an aid in administering the affairs of the parish. Soon the School Committee and Home School Association were added to a growing list of parish activities. There was also a need to coordinate the Christian education of students attending public school, and the position of Director of Religious Education was added to the staff.
Most Holy Rosary High School had slowly been seeing a decline in enrollment, while the elementary school continued to grow and thrive. The parish decided to close the high school in 1978, and add a prekindergarten program in 1983.
Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, parish participation in various activities continued to grow. The spirit of enthusiasm was growing with a deep commitment to family values and Christian living.
Today, Most Holy Rosary Parish is committed to spreading their sense of community and Christian living throughout the Strathmore area. There is a strong focus on parish life, Christian education, youth ministries and Christian social ministries that radiates from Rosary into the surrounding area. The parish will be beginning centennial celebrations this fall, and welcome all to come participate and enjoy the rich history of such a unique parish.