St. Mary's Church

Cochrane, AB

"The Spirit Flows Through Us"

St. Mary's celebrated its 125th ANNIVERSARY on NOVEMBER 21, 2020. The book, St. Mary's Centennial Celebration 1895-1995 can be read in digital form at "100 Years" in the menu at the top of this page.

ATTENTION: As of July 1st, we have implemented Stage 3 of the Provincial/Diocesan Reopening Plan. Pre-registration is no longer required. See particulars of our re-opening here at St. Mary's, Cochrane in Fr. Dennis' letter that follows:

Stage 3 letter June 30 - Fr. Dennis.pdf

NOTE: For the STATEMENT of the Diocese of Calgary on the COMMITMENT and CONTRIBUTION to RECONCILIATION and HEALING issued July 16th, CLICK HERE.

Fr. Dennis Vavrek, ofm OR contact him at the Parish Office: 403-932-2944

FOR EMERGENCIES: call Mount St. Francis Retreat at 403-932-2012 OR call Fr. Dennis' cell at 780-668-0145



The latest news and statistical information are now pointing to the good news that we are nearing the end of this lengthy Covid-19 pandemic – at least we should be past the worst of it.

My response is a somewhat guarded, “Alleluia!” Yet, as we seem to be winning the war with one virus, the media is now reminding us that our Church is still dealing with another virus called sin. Yes, some of Church’s institutional structures have been sinful. The news about the 215 graves discovered at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, BC, is a grim reminder that our Church has done some awful things in the name of Christ.

Dorothy Day, one of my favourite saints, once wrote, “As to the Church, where else shall we go, except to the Bride of Christ, one flesh with Christ? Though she is a harlot at times, she is our mother.” Yes, the Church is full of sinners, myself included, which often leads to Church structures becoming sinful. Parishes and the Church universal are not perfect. Our Roman Catholic religion has, and still can, offer less than a healthy religious system. But which Church or religion is perfect?

Religion can be abusive of others, it can hurt and damage people, and worst of all, it can distance one from God. Yes, the Church is sometimes dysfunctional and hurtful – and by the way, all families are somewhat dysfunctional and messy. But I love my Church. In fact, I love all my families - my birth family, my Franciscan family and my faith family at St. Mary’s. Without these families I am an orphan. And so, given the choice, I’d prefer an imperfect mother to no mother at all!

A leader of a large parish once went to Jesus to complain about the church. He said to Jesus, “They are a mess. They are uncommitted, mean, hypocritical, and judgmental. They don’t care what you say or even about you and your love for them. They are a stiff-necked people, and they don’t deserve your love.” Jesus answered, “Be careful … she’s my wife. The Church is Christ’s bride, and is greatly loved, despite her unfaithfulness.

The Church isn’t a gathering for saints, but a recovering group of sinners.

The only qualification to be a member is to be unqualified – a sinner. And the only vaccine for the virus of sin is God’s tremendous mercy and love.

Peace and all good,

For Personal Guidelines as released by the Public Health Agency of Canada re. masking and physical distancing for those vaccinated and not vaccinated, CLICK HERE.

PARISH SUNDAY OFFERINGS . . . Please remember that while we are in the pandemic situation, collection will not be taken during Mass. TWO COLLECTION BOXES ARE IN PLACE, one in the Gathering Area and one at the West Doors.

Please keep supporting our parish with weekly or recurring donations. Offering envelopes may be dropped off in the receptacles provided at the church when you come to Mass. Or you can support the parish through online giving. See information in the Bulletin from Greg Braganza (accountant for St. Mary's). There is also a plan for sending donations to our parish at THANK YOU!!

Need Someone to talk to?

Deacon Ron is available by appointment for anyone who would like to talk with him. Call the parish office at 403-932-2944 to set up a time for your chat.

Fr. Dennis (Fr. Dan, July 4-23) is available for Confessions or just to talk. Please call to make an appointment 403-932-2944.

If you need help during the pandemic . . .

– St. Mary's parish has two groups available to help the most vulnerable and those who are stranded due to the impact of the coronavirus, including those who have been asked to self-quarantine. If help is needed, reach out to one of the groups/teams mentioned below to run errands, do your grocery shopping, and/or pick up prescription drugs.

– Lean On Us —

– Charitable Pandemic Response Team—

Grocery Cards Fundraiser

Thanks to all who have been getting their "contact-less" Grocery Cards (available before and after weekend Masses, or from the Paris Office during office hours) to use for family shopping at Co-Op, No Frills, Superstore, Safeway, Sobeys, and/or Save On Foods!! Get more information from Helen Stock (403) 932-2782 OR at See also "Stay Informed" —> News or OnGoing Events. Despite COVID-19, our profits for 2020 = $9300.00! Mid-point this year the profits are $3234.00.


WEEKEND Masses (no pre-registration required)

  • Saturday 4 pm

  • Sunday: 10:00 am and Noon

WEEKDAY Masses (no pre-registration required)

  • Wednesday and Friday at 9 am

  • 3rd Wed. of each month at 1:30 pm at Hawthorne (prev. Points West Living) NOTE: no Mass July 21 as Fr. Dennis is on holiday

NOTE: Live-streamed daily Masses and/or Sunday Masses can still be accessed from the Diocesan website HERE during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CONFESSION-Fr. Dennis (Fr. Dan, July 4-23) is available to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or if you just need to talk. Please call the office to make an appointment. 403-932-2944.

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION is held on Tuesdays and Saturdays 11 am - noon (one hour only). No pre-registration required.


Find us just south of the town centre and east off Hwy 22 at James Walker Trail & River Heights Drive, Cochrane, Alberta. To get "traditional directions" click HERE.

Address: 10 River Heights Drive, Cochrane, AB, T4C 0N8

Phone: 403-932-2944

Note: Postal Code on the map is incorrect!


  • Mon. – Thurs. 8 am - 2 pm

  • Fri.: 9 am - 1 pm

  • Closed All Stat. Holidays

New to the Parish?

– WELCOME! We extend a warm welcome to new parishioners. Please take a moment to fill out a printable or online NEW PARISHIONER REGISTRATION FORM. Registration will ensure you're included in Parish communications. If using the printable form, you may scan and EMAIL or FAX (403-932-4587) to our SECRETARY or just drop the hard copy into the collection drop-box next time you're at Mass.

– For a brochure explaining CATHOLIC STEWARDSHIP (Time, Talent, Treasure), click HERE.

– A MINISTRY is a great way to become actively involved in our parish community. For more INFORMATION on our ministries, click HERE. To volunteer in one of our parish ministries, click HERE for an online or printable VOLUNTEER/STEWARDSHIP sign-up form. Complete and return the printable form by placing it in the collection drop-box at Mass or bring your form at the Parish Office during office hours.

MISSION STATEMENT: We are a community of faith trusting in God's love, open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit working within each member, attempting to model ourselves on Christ, and called to serve Him in others.