The Beginning

Property was purchased on Edgewater Drive in Orlando for development for a parish and high school. Father Charles A. Bartok is appointed to organize the new parish and high school.

March 1954

St. Charles is Established

St. Charles established as a parish on March 31, 1954
The first parish Masses were celebrated in the Edgewater High School Auditorium.

December 1954

New Women’s Club

On December 8, 1954, Mass was held in the Bishop Moore High School auditorium.
A Catholic Women’s Club was formed.

February 1955

St. Charles School

St. Charles School and Bishop Moore Catholic High School were dedicated by Archbishop Joseph Hurley on February 13, 1955. Construction began on a church, rectory, convent, and additional classrooms.

October 1957

Building the Provisional Church

The provisional church building and an addition to the school were completed. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated on October 6, 1957.

January 1958

Dedicating the Church Building

The church building was dedicated by Archbishop Hurley on January 26, 1958.

October 1959

Eucharistic Congress Site

Father Bartok was conferred with the honor of papal Chamberlain with the title of Very Reverend Monsignor by Pope John XXIII upon the recommendation of Archbishop Joseph Hurley.
St. Charles hosted the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress on October 25, the Feast of Christ the King.

October 1960

Morning Star School Opens

Morning Star School, a school for children with cognitive challenges, opened near St. Charles on October 3, under the direction of Sister Elizabeth Marie Stoup SSJ. The school has maintained a close relationship with both St. Charles and Bishop Moore High School.


Construction Begins

Construction began on a new convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine who taught at both St. Charles School, Bishop Moore High School, and Morning Star School.

February 1964

St. Joseph Sisters’ Convent Blessed

The two-story lakeside convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph who staff St. Charles School, Bishop Moore High School and Morning Star School was blessed on February 24 by Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley; he offered Mass for the Sisters in their chapel, following the ceremonies of blessing.


Msgr. Bartok Elevation

Msgr. Bartok was elevated to the permanent rank of Domestic Prelate, with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor by Pope Paul VI upon the recommendation of Archbishop Joseph Hurley.

May 1968

New Diocese

In May it was announced that the Diocese of Orlando was being created, with William D. Borders as its first bishop and St. Charles to be the Cathedral church for the new diocese.

May 1969

First Priest Ordination

On May 24 the first priest ordination was celebrated in the Cathedral.  Also, for the first time the ordination rite was said in English rather than Latin.


Archbishop Appointed

Bishop William D. Borders was appointed Archbishop of Baltimore and Bishop Thomas J. Grady was named the second bishop for the Diocese of Orlando.  He was installed at St. Charles Cathedral on December 16.

October 1976

Devastated by Fire

On October 1, St. Charles sustained the loss of the Cathedral church by fire, traced to faulty electrical wiring.  Masses were held in the parish social hall while plans were made to build a new church.


Request to Transfer Designation

Bishop Grady requested Archbishop Jean Jadot, apostolic delegate in the United States to transfer the designation of St. Charles as Cathedral to St. James Church in Orlando. Bishop Grady stated: “We are grateful to the people of St. Charles Parish who, under the leadership of Msgr. Charles A. Bartok, Msgr. Irvine Nugent and Father Richard Steinkamp, have rendered notable service to the diocese while St. Charles was the cathedral.”

October 1977

Ground Breaking

Also, in 1977 ground was broken for a new St. Charles church on October 2, 1977.


Dedication & Celebration

Mass was celebrated in the new church on September 21, 1979. It was dedicated by Bishop Thomas Grady on November 4, 1979, the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo. 
The parish also celebrated its 25th anniversary. The theme of the celebration was, “Down Memory Lane.”


Sculpture Installation

A cedar wood sculpture of the risen Christ, 14 feet tall, was installed behind the altar of the church.


Ministries for All

The parish hosts ministries for the Vietnamese and Korean communities.


School Expansion Project

The school broke ground on an expansion project.


School is Blessed

The newly renovated school was blessed by Bishop Norbert Dorsey on September 1.


Renovated & Rededicated

The church was renovated and rededicated by Bishop Norbert Dorsey on May 1. Plans for the renovation began in 1993 which included increasing the interior space, better lighting, installing stained glass designed by Sister Diane Couture SSJ, a new cement courtyard, new baptistry, new pews, and new flooring.

November 2004

50 Year Celebration

On November 7, the feast day of its patron, St. Charles Borromeo, parishioners gathered for the Mass celebrating 50 years of faith in the community. Jubilee events began in March when the parish marked its founding and burned the paid off loan note from its 1997 renovation. The parish and school experienced damage from Hurricane Frances.


New Art

A new mural was painted on a building at the school.