Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

1404 East 9th Street | Cleveland, Ohio 44114

In Remembrance – Reverend Denis L. St. Marie, First Diocesan Missionary (Video)

Fr. Denis L. St. Marie

The Reverend Denis L. St. Marie, Pastor Emeritus, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, South Amherst and first Diocese of Cleveland Missionary in the Central American country of El Salvador in 1964, died Monday, 28 October 2013, after having received the prayerful support and consolation of the Sacraments.

Denis L. St. Marie was born on 23 May 1933. His parents were the late Gene M. and Mildred M. (Crow). He was educated at St. Mary Elementary, Sandusky, St. Mary Elementary, Elyria, Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, Borromeo College and St. Mary Seminary, Cleveland. On 23 May 1959 in the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Bishop Floyd L. Begin ordained him to the priesthood for the service of the Diocese of Cleveland.


Fr. St. Marie’s first assignment was as Parochial Vicar of St. Jerome, Cleveland. On 19 October 1961 he was appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Luke, Lakewood. In addition to this assignment on 4 December 1962 he was appointed Chaplain of the Newman Club of the Ohio State University Extension School in Lakewood. On 11 June 1964 he was directed to enroll at Glen Ellyn Seminary, Chicago. Fr. St. Marie was appointed to the Diocesan Mission in the Diocese of San Miguel, San Salvador, El Salvador on 17 August 1964. On 10 September 1973 Fr. St. Marie enrolled in Graduate Studies at the Institute of Continuing Theological Education at the North American College. On 23 July 1974 he was elected Coordinator of the Diocesan Mission Team. On 1 March 1978 he was released from the Diocesan Mission Team for a special assignment to work with the Family Life Secretariat of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference (LCELAM – CENPAFAL) for work in the area of Family Planning. On 8 January 1982 Fr. St. Marie returned to the Diocese of Cleveland in residence at St. Joseph, Lorain. On 1 February 1982 Fr. St. Marie was appointed as a Staff Associate in the Permanent Diaconate Program. 1 June 1985 he was relieved of Diocesan assignment to allow employment by Human Life Center, St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN to work in the area of family life. On 1 August 1990 he was appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Rita, Solon. On 7 September 1990 the Pontifical Catholic University of the Dominican Republic awarded Fr. St. Marie an honorary doctor’s degree in recognition of many years of service in promotion of pro-life internationally. On 1 March 1991 Fr. St. Marie was appointed Director pro tem of the Diocesan Mission Office in addition to his assignment at St. Rita’s. On 1 June 1991 his appointment was changed to Director of the Diocesan Mission Office. On 4 January 1993 he was appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Michael, Cleveland and to continue as Diocesan Mission Office Director. On 26 January 1995 he was assigned Chaplain of Knights of Columbus Lafayette Council #3970. On 1 October 2001 Fr. St. Marie was appointed Pastor of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, South Amherst. Fr. St. Marie retired on 15 June 2008.


Vespers will be celebrated by Bishop Roger Gries on Friday, 1 November in Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 333 S. Lake Street, South Amherst at 3:00 p.m. The wake will continue until 8:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, 2 November in Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church at 11:00 a.m. Bishop Richard Lennon will be the main celebrant and Fr. Joseph Callahan will be the homilist. Interment will be at St. Joseph Cemetery, Amherst.


Click PLAY to watch a two minute video of
Fr. Denis St. Marie talking about being a missionary priest. 
He was one of the first missionary priests from the
Diocese of  Cleveland to serve the people in El Salvador. 
The Diocese of Cleveland is celebrating 50 years of a
mission presence in El Salvador.

In accord with the provisions of the Marian Pact, please try to attend and concelebrate the Funeral Liturgy, offer Mass for him as you are able and cause him to be remembered and prayed for in the appropriate public prayers of the Church. May Fr. St. Marie and all our priests, deacons and bishops who have died, live forever in the joy of the Resurrection.


Sincerely in Christ,

Sr. Therese Guerin Sullivan


Sister Therese Guerin Sullivan, SP, JCL


Click HERE to review a PDF version of the above information.

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