Marist Fathers (Society of Mary), 1925 - 2018
The Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes was founded in 1925 when the Marist Fathers bought the large house – Hop Villa – on Cottingham Road where they opened Marist College, a Catholic secondary school for boys. On the left side of Hop Villa there was a small stable block which was to become the first parish church under their care with the name of Our Lady of Lourdes. In 1957 the new church was built and consecrated under the name of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Peter Chanel. St Peter Chanel, the first Marist martyr, had been canonised in 1954.
The Marist Fathers established the Catholic Chaplaincy for the University of Hull. The chaplaincy was later taken over by the Diocese when Fr Anthony Storey established its base in Newland Park.
Marist College later merged with St Mary’s, a girls’ school run by the Sisters of Mercy, to become St Mary’s College and St Mary’s Sixth Form Centre.
2018 onwards – a new beginning
Much to the great sadness of many people, the Marist Fathers decided to hand the parish into the care of the Diocese and in July 2018, the Bishop of Middlesbrough attended a special Mass in the church to mark the official hand over. Fr. William Massie, already the Catholic Chaplain to Hull University and the Diocesan Director of Vocations, was appointed by the Bishop to take pastoral charge of the parish. In his pastoral letter, the Bishop urged parishioners to realise that ‘it is vital that everyone understands they have a role to play and all must step up to the plate.’
Our parish continues today with the church and parish house and is home to people from a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities. With the grace of God, it will continue to be a church where everyone is welcome.