History of Mary Immaculate
1956 – Today
Bishop Thomas K. Gorman founded Mary Immaculate Parish in 1956. Property was purchased for the parish at the corner of Valwood Parkway and Dennis Lane. The Oblates of Mary Immaculate, located in San Antonio, were entrusted with the care and development of the parish.
The pastor, Rev. Walter Arnold, OMI, met with the young parish and the first Mass, with 45 members, was celebrated in the Old Dallas Gun Club, which is in the area of the Farmers Branch Recreation Center.
In 1957, under the direction of our newly appointed pastor, Rev. Robert Vreteau, OMI, a chapel/cafeteria was built. In 1959, the Benedictine nuns came to staff the school, using temporary buildings. Permanent offices and classrooms were built in 1962. In 1964 a worship space was built using the original master plan, which intended the building to eventually become a full sized gymnasium.
When our Oblate clergy were returned to different areas of ministry in 1984, Msgr. Leon Duesman became our first diocesan pastor. The present Family Center was built in 1986 and has served us well as a gym, cafeteria and social center. Msgr. Albert Cuschieri was installed as pastor in 1992 as the parish continued to grow.
Fr. Bruce Bradley first came to Mary Immaculate as an Associate Pastor in the 1980s. In 1999 he returned, was appointed Pastor and continued in that role until 2008. Fr. Bruce was the driving force in building our new church.
The year 2000 saw the beginning of new development at Mary Immaculate with increased parking from 180 to 400 spaces. This project was in response to the increased growth of our parish from 2,800 families in 1995 to over 6,200 families today. Plans for new church and administrative offices were also developed, and now these plans have been realized!
Mary Immaculate offers over 50 ministries, outside the sacramental life of the Church, for support and involvement. Some of these ministries include RCIA, religious education for our children, including our parish school, adult education, RENEW, Youth Ministry, Aids Supper Club, Bereavement Support, St. Vincent de Paul, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Daughters, blood drives, Keenagers (for senior citizens), prayer chain and pre-marriage sponsor couples.
Our goal through these past 50 years, with the various leaders in faith formation at Mary Immaculate Church, has been to build up the community. We gather to worship and to encourage each other, giving life to our faith. And now with gratitude and love, we celebrate our 50th Anniversary.