In 1816 the Vicar General of Upper Canada, Alexander MacDonell, purchased land in Prescott to build a chapel.
Bishop MacDonell also participated in the raid on Ogdensburg, N.Y. in 1813.
The first church built on that land was around the year 1823.
The first pastor of St. Mark Parish was Father Timothy O'Meara who was appointed in 1828. The current church structure was consecrated on October 21, 1888.
The interior was decorated in 1906 by the Panzeroni Brothers.
In 1881 Father John Masterson was appointed to St. Mark Parish and remained until 1921.
During his forty year tenure St. Mark Parish saw much growth and activity such as the construction of the current church, a horse and rig barn (St. Mark Club), interior and exterior refurbishing of the rectory as well as the arrival of the Sisters of Providence who occupied the Crane house.
The Sisters of Providence arrived in 1905 and laboured in the red brick St Mark Catholic School for fifty years until it became overcrowded and too dilapidated to warrant restoration. It was replaced by a more modern school in 1956, St. Mark Catholic School, on Edward Street. Four years later additional class space was required and a second school, St. Joseph Catholic School, was built in McAuley Gardens.
The Sisters were renowned for teaching skills and standards especially in the area of music and had an inspiring presence over the years. Sadly the convent was closed in 1987.
Between the period of 1987 and 2006, the Knights of Columbus Council 5880 was responsible for the former convent, now known as Crane House.
The council made use of the building for their meeting and other community projects.
A grand tribute to the dedication of the Sisters of Providence is evident in the construction of a brand new St. Mark Catholic School in 2009 on the former site of St. Joseph Catholic School.
Stained Glass windows from the old convent have been erected in the new school.

Pastors of St. Mark The Evangelist Parish

Father Timothy O'Meara
1828 - 1831

Father Patrick Foley
1831 - 1832

Father J. W. Campion
1832 - 1843

Father J. Clark (Overlaps with Campion)
1841 - 1843

Father D. Farrelly
1843 - 1844

Father Edmund P. Roche
1844 - 1874

Father J. O'Donnell
1874 - 1881

Monsignor J. Masterson
1881 - 1921

Father J. P. Hartigan
1922 - 1927

Father J. P. Fleming
1927 - 1931

Father Charles J. Mea
1931 - 1943

Father J. H. McDonald
1943 - 1950

Father Martin E. James
1950 - 1958

Father Joseph Shannon
1958 - 1965

Father W. P. Healey
1966 - 1974

Father Peter F. Murphy
1974 - 1983

Monsignor Bernard J. Walsh
1983 - 1998

Father John Appelman
1998 - 2010

Father Brent Brennan
2010 to present

St. Mark History was taken from the book
"The St. Mark Story" by Barbara Seargeant.


In 1875, through the efforts of Father O'Donnell and Father Masterson of Prescott, Ontario, the present church was constructed on land donated by W. G. Benson of the Canada Starch Company.
Prior to the building of Sacred Heart Church, Parishioners celebrated the Eucharist in Dixon's Corners.
Often the priest from Mariatown, near Morrisburg would travel to Cardinal and would Celebrate the Eucharist in the homes of local parishioners.
Sacred Heart Parish was a Mission Church of St. Mark the Evangelist in Prescott, Ontario for approximately 48 years.
In 1923 Sacred Heart became a separate Parish with Father Gorman as the first parish priest.
Various changes have taken place in the Church over the years. In 1947, on its 25th Anniversary, the church was redecorated:
stained glass windows, new Stations of the Cross, and a pipe organ were installed.
During Father Harold Wiley's time as parish priest, the pipe organ, which had originally been purchased from St. Mark the Evangelist, was replaced by an electric organ.
In 1995, a new electronic organ was donated by the Procyk family.
The Knights of Columbus have always played a significant role in life of the parish.
In 1962, a Knights of Columbus Council was formed in Cardinal, with Garnet Gilligan as its first Grand Knight.
The Council was affiliated with Kemptville. Prior to 1962, members of the Knights of Columbus from Cardinal were affiliated with Brockville.
Since 1966, the Cardinal Council of the Knights of Columbus have been affilated with the Prescott Council #5880.
As with the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Women's League played an important part in the life of the parish.
Obviously, the Catholic Women's League were an early presence in the Parish in Cardinal.
Records indicate that the League was re-established in 1949, with Ethel Borman as President.
Currently members of the Catholic Women's League from Sacred Heart are affiliated with the St. Mark Council in Prescott.
Sacred Heart Parish has seen two of its "native sons" ordained to the priesthood.
In April 1949, John Buckley, son of Timothy and Mary Buckley, was ordained in Kingston, Ontario.
Father Buckley celebrated the Eucharist for the first time in Sacred Heart Parish on April 24th, 1949.
On May 16, 1969, Sacred Heart Parish witnessed its first ordination when Archbishop Wilhelm came from Kingston to ordain Kennneth Stitt, son of Kenneth and Mary Stitt.
Father Stitt also celebrated the Eucharist for the first time in Cardinal.
In 1975, the Parish celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Sacred Heart Church.
A parish retreat was held and on June 1, there was a parish dinner at St. Paul Anglican Church Hall.
On March 11, 1984, a Parish Centre, designed by Parishioner Jack Marin, was officially opened.
Archbishop Spence delivered the blessing and Father Raby was the guest speaker.
On September 10, 2000, the Parish celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding as a mission of St. Mark Parish in Prescott.
In 2001, parish meetings were held throughout the Diocese of Kingston to consider the clustering of certain parishes .
In 2002, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish was clustered with the parish of St. Mark the Evangelist in Prescott.
The Parish Rectory, which had been built during Father Michael Reed's time, was sold in October 2003.

Pastors of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish

Father Leo Gorman
1923 - 1925

Father Martin James
1925 - 1950

Father Harold Wiley
1950 - 1963

Father J. E. Trainer
1963 - 1967

Father Michael Farrell
1967 - 1968

Father Ray Shannon
1968 - 1969

Father Leo Byrne
1969 - 1975

Father Edward Keyes
1975 - 1986

Father Michael Reed
1986 - 1992

Father William Powell
1992 - 2002

Father John Appelman
2002 - 2010

Father Brent Brennan
2010 to present

Sacred Heart History Courtesy of Corrinne Miller