Parish History

On July 3, 1930, the Most Rev. John Francis Noll, Bishop of the Diocese, appointed Father Edgar J. Cyr pastor of a new parish on the west side of Muncie.

On September 28, 1930, the property on the southwest corner of West Jackson and Nichol Avenue was purchased from Rose Jester and Jennie Black. The following men were appointed to serve as trustees: Michael H. Broderick, J. Carol O’Hara, Michael O’Toole, Leo Hanley, John Gubbins, and George Leitshuh. On September 29, 1930, the Feast of St. Michael, ground was broken for the building which is now Noll Hall and the building which was used temporarily as a church until August, 1965.

The first Mass in the basement church was held on December 8, 1930, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. At that time, the parish consisted of 100 families.

It was on Christmas Eve of 1949 that the C.M. Kitselman estate was purchased. This property, comprising the entire northwest section of the block adjoining the parish grounds, included the magnificent Kitselman home.

Mr. and Mrs. George Aul donated the money for the Chapel, which is still a part of the Manor. Mr. and Mrs. Garland Funk were responsible for the first unit of the schools, a memorial to their son, Garland Jr., who was killed in service during World War II. In 1954, Mr. John Hartmeyer made a donation toward the construction of a second school building in memory of his parents, John and Margaret Hartmeyer. Then in 1955, Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Broderick and daughter, Sheila, made a donation for a third building in memory of their son and brother, Joseph H. Broderick, Jr. In 1991, Kathleen Meehan’s estate made a two-room addition to the Hartmeyer building possible.

In 1956, $100,000 was donated to St. Mary’s by the Directors of Our Sunday Visitor under the direction of our first bishop, Most Rev. John Francis Noll of the Fort Wayne Diocese, in recognition for the work the parish had done for the students at Ball State. This made it possible for the parish to complete the ground floor area and upper floor of Noll Hall.

On August 15, 1975, Bishop Gallagher dedicated the new Rectory-Administration Building.

A need for additional classroom space was soon realized; Bishop Gallagher dedicated the Cyr Center on September 2, 1984. The founding pastor, Msgr. Edgar Cyr, was present for this dedication, as was Bishop William L. Higi of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. The sunken gardens, which are part of the Kitselman estate purchase, have been renovated and now contain the Stations of the Cross. It is a beautiful setting for the bronze stations, which have been cast from the old stations, which were a part of the basement church. All the expenses of setting each station was absorbed by members of the parish. The dedication of the garden and the blessing of the Stations of the Cross by Bishop Gallagher were on September 2, 1990.

The magnificent Kitselman home, which was also a part of the Kitselman estate purchase, has been renovated and in July of 1998 was dedicated as a home for retired priests. It is now known as the Bishop Raymond J. Gallagher Manor.

With the retirement of Msg. Cyr on July 1, 1969, Father M. Joseph McDonnell was appointed as the pastor. After Fr. McDonnell’s death on May 26, 1974, Fr. William R. Grady was appointed the third pastor of St. Mary’s on August 1, 1974. After a long and beloved pastorate, Fr. Grady died on October 6, 2003. Fr. T. Edward Kacena, the associate pastor at the time of Fr. Grady’s death and interim Administrator of the parish, was named the fourth pastor of St. Mary Parish by Bishop William Higi on July 1, 2004.  Fr. Andrew Dudzinski was appointed as Pastor in 2009.

Our St Mary Parish continues to grow and prosper as we work with and for the people within the western portion of Muncie and Delaware County all for the honor and glory of God.