Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church

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Thursday, 7/9/20202:00 PM – 2:45 PMRecital: Alcee Chriss




The Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church is located at 2855 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish was founded in 1958 by Bishop Francis Hyland, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta. Rev. Msgr. Cornelius Maloney was named the first pastor and he quickly set out to build the original church, the rectory and the school. To assist him in caring for the children of the new parish school, he looked to the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart whose motherhouse was in the Philadelphia area. They graciously accepted the invitation to come south and Sister Gerald Ann Higgins, G.N.S.H. was named the first principal. This would be the beginning of many years of devoted service to IHM by the Grey Nuns.

In her early years, Immaculate Heart of Mary boasted 350 registered households, and the school population was 237. Ten years after the founding of the parish, there were 1,200 registered households and the continual growth of the school called for the construction of a new wing (Middle School Annex). Two years later, the school was accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

As the parish grew in numbers and as the years passed, the original buildings needed to be expanded and modernized. In 1985, the school had grown to 492 students and the parish, having built the Maloney Center (parish hall), entered into a campaign for long-term development. The ‘90s were years that witnesses technological advances, additional construction for the school, and the refurbishing and liturgical updating of the church. In 2000, Father Fred Wendel, IHM’s seventh pastor, commissioned a strategic planning committee whose task it was to look to the future and identify the most important needs of the parish. They pointed to an urgent need for additional meeting space, office space, a possible expansion of the church to provide for a gathering space, and new living quarters for the priests. Father Schillinger was appointed pastor in 2002. Almost immediately he was handed the recommendations of this committee. He established a building committee that worked diligently for the next several years on what would become the transformation of the campus. The original rectory and adjoining offices were demolished as was the convent. The rectory was moved to the Sagamore Hills neighborhood and the Maloney Center was transformed into the parish offices. The property was graded and the new church was constructed. This work was completed in 2008, just in time for the celebration of the parish’s 50th anniversary.

On January 24, 2009, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory celebrated the Mass of Dedication of our new sanctuary. This year also brought honor to IHM School as it was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. These two events marked the beginning of our parish’s second 50 years.

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