The coming of the French in 1826 was the beginning of Catholicism in the Harrisburg area. Sacred Heart of Mary Parish was organized in 1833 and is the sixth oldest parish in the diocese of Youngstown, and the fourth oldest in Stark County. Our first parish church was erected in 1847 on one and on-half acres purchased in 1845. In 1856, a school opened, staffed by a community of nuns (the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary), but it operated only a few years.
Our present church was erected in 1876. It was partially destroyed February 25, 1956 by a wind of terrific force. It was restored the same year and was ready for the Christmas Masses. Following the Second Vatican Council, the sanctuary of the church was remodeled to conform to the directives for the celebration of the liturgy.
In 1927, the second school was built and opened. It was in operation from this time to 2009. The following communities of Sisters have taught here;
- Sisters of Charity (Lakewood
- Sisters of Notre Dame (Chardon)
- Dominican Sisters (Akron)
- Sisters of the Holy Ghost (Pittsburgh, PA)
The parish cemetery has been in use since 1840, with an addition made ready in 1953. A cemetery restoration project got underway in April 1980.
Our present rectory was built in 1923; the convent, now office, 1957, and the parish hall in 1961.
The parish is compromised by the communities of Harrisburg, Marlboro, New Baltimore, and surrounding areas. It’s boundaries before the collaboration were: on the north by the Portage County line, on the east by McCallum Road, on the south by Easton Street, and on the west by Rolling Ridge and Duquette Roads.
Through the generosity of some parishioners, a Roger Organ was purchased in the spring of 1977 on the occasion of the retirement of Fr. Edward Gallagher and in his honor. They also purchased an automatic bell ringer for the bell of the church and a new car for the nuns.