History – St. Mark

Saint Mark the Evangelist’s History dates back to 1946, where the First Mass was held on October 6, 1946, in Greencastle, PA and is part of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA. Prior to 1946, there was no Catholic mission or church in town, therefore families were attending St. Andrew’s in Waynesboro, PA, Corpus Christi Church in Chambersburg, PA, and St. Mary’s Church in Hagerstown, MD.
The church began, in 1946, at a local bank, Citizens National, on North Carlisle Street, in their community room. Fr. Thomas B.Johnson was granted permission from Father Allwine, Pastor of St. Andrew’s Church, to hold this First Mass. This assembly, became a mission church of Corpus Christi Parish, in Chambersburg, PA, with the consent of Bishop George L. Leech.
During this time, the priest used to face away from the congregation.

Twelve first families comprised the Greencastle Catholic Mission. Worship continued until 1954, when the mission was moved to a local funeral parlor, Zimmerman Funeral Home, on South Carlisle Street. During Mass, on multiple occasions, only a curtain separated the congregation, during Mass, from the deceased person. Catechism classes were taught, during this time, by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, from Chambersburg.
The church, then moved into the McLaughlin hotel (“Antrim House”), where Mass was held in a section of the dining room known as “The Palomino Room” and then in the former bar room.
In March 1960, a two story home, located at 32 Spring Grove Avenue, was purchased, at the request of Fr. Louis Dougherty, as a permanent place of worship. This was done with approval from Bishop George L. Leech. The first floor served as the chapel and the second floor was rented out to bring in extra income. Other fundraising activities began at this time: bake sales, chicken bbq, card parties, spaghetti dinners, and Bingo. On December 8, 1961, the mission was returned to St. Andrew’s Parish, in Waynesboro, PA, with Fr. Thomas J. Gralinski, becoming the mission’s pastor. In 1962, the Greencastle Mission became St. Mark the Evangelist. With the increasing number of families, a building fund was started and the search began, for suitable land, for building the future church.
Approximately 4 acres of land was purchased, on South Ridge Avenue, on December 1, 1962. Construction began in 1964. The completed church was dedicated, by Bishop George L. Leech, on August 18, 1965 where it still stands today.
Previously located on 302 South Washington Street, Greencastle, PA, and was utilized from 1968-1988.
In 1988, the current rectory, was built, next to St. Mark the Evangelist, on 395 S. Ridge Avenue, Greencastle, PA.
Parish Center Building
Completed in 1978 and was blessed by Bishop T. Daley.
Credit: Information collected from St. Mark the Evangelist Church Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Book, 1990, by James T. Clark