The Beginning of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish
In 1964, Sunday Mass was first held in a Plano community center served by the Paulist Fathers from St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Richardson, Texas. Due to the increase in response, space was leased in a nearby public elementary school for Mass, Church services, and faith formation classes. In 1965, the Diocese of Dallas purchased 10 acres at the intersection of Highway 544 (15th Street) and Alma Drive in Plano, Texas. The new church facility was completed in September 1968.
In 1976, St. Mark the Evangelist Parish was the only Catholic community in Plano. It grew so rapidly that three additional parishes were established in the area. In 1978, plans for a permanent church and rectory for St. Mark began. The new church building was dedicated on January 18, 1981. In the altar, the relics of the St. Norbert, St Verecundus and St. Illuminata are sealed. The former church was remodeled to provide classrooms for faith formation and a new Catholic elementary school.
By 1988, the parish campus grew to include the present sanctuary, an enlarged activity building that includes a cafetorium, two gymnasiums, and a two-story multi-office building which is the present pastoral center.
St. Mark Today
St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Community has grown from 325 families in 1966 to over 9,500 households of faith. Our programs for faith formation for children serve 1,300. The St. Mark Catholic School (preschool through eighth grade) has grown from 113 students with a faculty of 8 members to its present size of over 750 students and 60 faculty members. The St. Mark Preschool serves 100 three and four year olds. An impressive number of ministries and organizations serve the needs of the St. Mark parishioners on an ongoing basis. A large number of volunteers offer their time and talents to keep St. Mark the Evangelist vital and active.
In 2009, the parish began to offer niches in the Columbarium which officially opened in 2010. The Bethany Narthex as built as an addition to the church and opened in 2010. Also in 2009, St. Mark purchased the Legacy Bank building and the bank continued to lease it until September 2010. The remodeling project began in December 2010. Our New Parish Center was completed August 2011. This New Parish Center includes two halls, available for rental, and the Parish offices. In 2009, the parish began to offer niches in the Columbarium which opened in 2010. The Bethany Narthex was opened 2010.
Over the years, St. Mark the Evangelist has welcomed parishioners of many diverse backgrounds and cultures all of whom enrich our community. We are blessed with a large Spanish-speaking community and offer three of our Sunday liturgies in Spanish. At any Mass at St. Mark, you will find a diverse Body of Christ, bringing many gifts to the whole community. There are many opportunities to answer our Baptismal Call of Service and we invite all parishioners to be involved in areas that most fit their spiritual, individual and family needs.