St. Mary's Church

Cochrane, AB

"The Spirit Flows Through Us"

St. Mary's celebrates its "125th ANNIVERSARY" in 2020. The book, "St. Mary's Centennial Celebration 1895-1995" is now accessible in digital form so you can catch up on our history!! Find the book, "100 Years" in the menu at the top of this page.

Father 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

Deacon Ron Fortier

P.S. See message from Deacon Ron for 6th Sunday of Easter (May 16, 2020) on "News" page and in the Bulletin this week.



One of my first experiences in refugee sponsorship – by the way, this happened over 30 years ago - was the resettlement of a family from El Salvador.

You’ve heard of the expression, “Go big or go home!” Well, being young and looking for adventure I went big, because Rosa and Mauricio Rodas had 8 children, the youngest was a new born and the oldest was 16 years of age. Added to the challenge was that the family arrived in the middle of winter. Thus, the first order of business was to get everyone outfitted for winter clothing. This task, of course, took a couple of days, as I could only take two or three members of the family in my car at a time, along with a translator, to a second hand clothing store to be outfitted for boots, mitts, toques, ski pants, jackets – the whole winter attire.

On the second day of this project, on yet another foray to the second hand store, two of the younger kids in the backseat, looking out the window with big eyes at the winter scenery, were chatting excitedly about what they were seeing for the first time – in Spanish, of course. All of a sudden the two adults in the car started to laugh hysterically over something one of the kids had said. I asked the uncle, Antonio, what the laughter was all about. He said that one child had explained to the other, “You know, we’re now living on another planet!”

That’s what has happened to all of us because of the Covid-19 pandemic - we are now living on another planet. It’s a new and different world – and we need to get used to it.

New realities can unsettle us. We are creatures of habit and routine, and when that is disturbed there is an adjustment period. Experts say that there are three phases in this transition time: that we go from a “fear zone,” to a “learning zone,” to a “growth zone.” Here are some features of each zone:

1) FEAR ZONE: I complain all the time and transmit my anger and fear and other related negative emotions to others. In this zone I might hoard food and toilet paper.

2) LEARNING ZONE: I start letting go of things that are out of my control, I identify my emotions, I make myself aware of the situation and think about the best way to act, and I acknowledge everyone is trying their best.

3) GROWTH ZONE: I find a purpose in the changes, I think of how I can help others, I use my skills to the service of those in need, I show empathy to myself and others, I live in the present and hope for a better future, I show gratefulness, I find ways to adapt to the changes, I practice calmness and patience in my relationships.

Let us remember that the disciples of Jesus were faced with some monumental changes in their lives, as they were challenged with a whole new faith reality after his death and resurrection. They had to understand and appreciate a new covenant sealed with the blood of their friend Jesus on the cross and a new faith response to this reality. They also needed to come to grips with a new way of living and a new way of worshipping. It was a whole new world for them.

Someone once told me, “It is what it is - deal with it.” Let us deal with all these changes with a strong faith, mature responses and lots of humour.


NOTE : Weekday and Sunday Masses continue to be livestreamed from the Diocesan website until further notice.

** Released by the Diocese on May 19th: "The Catholic Bishops of Alberta remain committed to the gradual reinstatement of public celebrations of the Mass and welcome the recent release of the Guidance for Places of Worship document as part of the provincial government’s relaunch strategy. These guidelines are being carefully considered by the Task Force that the Bishops have established under the direction of Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton and Bishop William McGrattan of Calgary.

"The Task Force is drafting for the Bishops a set of directives for the gradual reintroduction of Masses in public. The Bishops will present these to Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health ... No date will be set for the resumption of public liturgies in our Catholic churches and institutions until the Bishops are satisfied that their own directives can be fully and properly implemented.

"Any announcement of the date for the gradual reintroduction will be made at least five days before the first scheduled Mass. Parishes by then will have received diocesan guidelines which help ensure the safety of everyone ...."

** PARISH SUNDAY OFFERINGS . . .During this pandemic, our faith community needs us even more. Please remember to keep supporting our parish with weekly or recurring donations. As offering envelopes are not feasible at this time, we ask you to support the parish through online giving. See information in the Bulletin from Greg Braganza (accountant for St. Mary's) or the Diocese has a plan for sending donations to our parish at

** For specifics re. St. Mary's in Cochrane, go to the menu at the top of this page and click "Stay Informed" ➞ "NEWS" and/or "BULLETIN" and/or "SOCIAL MEDIA."

** NEW! See the "NAME-THE-BELLS-CONTEST" announcement on the "NEWS" page. Ends on Fri., May 29th.

If you have questions, please call Father Dennis at the parish office at 403-932-2944 or on his cell phone at 780-668-0145 or via e-mail at

If you need help . . .

– GREAT NEWS!! Here in the parish there are two groups/teams 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—

Eucharistic Adoration

NEW!! Starting May 5th there will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday and Saturday 10 am to noon at the church following specifications for COVID-19. See details in BULLETIN and/or NEWS under STAY INFORMED at the top of this page.

Need Someone to talk to?

Deacon Ron will be available for anyone who would like to talk with him Wednesdays or Thursdays between 1 pm and 3 pm. Call the parish office at 403-932-2944 to set up an appointment to chat with him.

Visual Meditation

For "Sacred Solitude," a visual meditation using the photography of Warren Harbeck, the piano arrangement of Joel Rosenberger, and the hymn "In the Garden" by C. Austin Miles, enjoy the movie to the right.

Mass Times for St. Mary's Cochrane: daily Mass and Sunday Mass can be accessed livestreamed from the Diocesan website— during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WEEKEND Masses on site–cancelled (see above)

  • Saturday: 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am

WEEKDAY Masses on site–cancelled (see above)

Saturday CONFESSION-now cancelled. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, if you have an emergency situation, the Sacrament of Reconciliation may be celebrated with Fr. Dennis by calling him to make special arrangements.

Eucharistic ADORATION is held on Tuesdays and Saturdays 10 am - noon. Available by reserving a seat in either of two ways:

-- email OR phone the office at 403-932-2944.

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.


Find us just south of the town center 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 map is incorrect!


  • Mon. & Tues. 8 am - 2 pm;
  • Wed. & Thurs. 8 am - 3 pm;
  • Fri.: 9 am - Noon

New to the Parish?

  • 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 basket 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 basket at Mass or drop off your form at the Parish Office.