Our past has been one of growth and generosity with a special emphasis on liturgical worship, Catholic education, and social outreach. Our future looks as promising as our past has been. The parish was established in 1917 to serve the needs of the many Catholics who had moved to “The Hill” section of Augusta following the devastating fire in downtown Augusta in the spring of 1916. Bishop Benjamin Keiley instructed Father Patrick H. McMahon to acquire property that would be suitable for a parish church. Fr. McMahon purchased a house on the southeast corner of Monte Sano and McDowell streets. Parishioners gathered in that house until a church was built in 1919. The original church, used today as our Parish Hall, was dedicated on November 30, 1919 and was utilized as our worship place until our growth mandated a larger facility. The first Mass in the present church was celebrated on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1955. Since that time the church has undergone several enhancements. The beautiful stained-glass windows, which primarily depict the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary were installed in 1969 and the Wicks pipe organ was blessed on June 1, 1980. Finally, the interior of the church, left unfinished in the 1955 construction, was completed during the refurbishment of the church in 1992. At that time, a day chapel and gathering space were also added to the structure.
The parish has also been dedicated to the ministry of Catholic education. In 1960 the parish took over operation of the elementary school from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet with the establishment of St. Mary School. The school has experienced many structural additions since that time and presently educates over 400 students each year. In a bold move to insure access to a Catholic education for all of our parishioners, in 1995 the parish began to fund the operation of the school completely from the Offertory collection. In addition to the school the parish provides CCD Catholic education for over 120 students each week as well as RCIA and small group sharing opportunities for adults. The school underwent a major renovation in 2001 with construction of a new gymnasium, cafeteria, and additional classrooms which has allowed for a lower student-teacher ratio in kindergarten through third grade.
On November 1, 1997 the parish instituted Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel adjacent to the school. Since that time, we have constantly had someone in the chapel praying for individual, as well as, community and parish needs. Through the Stewardship of our time, talent, and treasure, the parish continues to volunteer support for many outreach endeavors, such as Catholic Social Services, Family Promise, Masters Table Soup Kitchen, and Habitat for Humanity in the community and diocese. In addition, the parish contributes part of its weekly offertory collection to charitable causes. Under the able leadership of our pastor, Rev. Mark J. Ross, St. Mary Parish is a vibrant and integral part of the Augusta community and the Diocese of Savannah. We look forward to the future with thanks to God for the many gifts He has bestowed on us and we pray for the continued guidance and grace to carry out God’s work here on earth.