After the Garrison Dam put an end to the annual flooding of the Missouri River in south Bismarck, increased population and the need for another parish was considered by the Diocese. The Catholic Church of the Ascension was founded by Pastor E. J. Becwar. The first Mass was held August 4, 1974 in the Kirkwood Plaza Twin Theater #1. Sunday Masses at the time were held at 8:00 and 10:00 AM.
Under the Leadership of Fr. Becwar, the church was built at 1825 South Third Street. The first Mass was celebrated June 19th, 1979. The new church was dedicated by Bishop Hilary B. Hacker on November 18, 1979.
In 1984, the present rectory and education building south of the church were built. The education building contains administrative offices, classrooms and a community room with kitchen and dining area seating 150 people. Parishioners are encouraged to enroll their children in the Light of Christ Catholic Schools, which is financially supported by Ascension.
Fr. Becwar retired in 1988 and Fr. Marvin J. Klemmer was named Pastor on July 1st. Fr. Jim Braaten was named Pastor on July 1, 2011.
The church celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1999. To celebrate this anniversary, a major renovation was done in the church. The altar was moved closer to the people. A permanent Baptismal font with flowing water was placed at the entrance of the church proper. Also new lighting, sound system, pews, music area, carpeting and paneling were installed. The entire Church as well as the ambo is now handicapped accessible. The renovation was completed in May 2000.
A Long Range Planning process was put in place in the Fall of 2006 and completed in April 2007. In put was received from all the parish committees, service organizations, open forums as well as a survey of all the parishioners.
The Parish has grown from 340 families in 1974 to over 1070 registered households in 2016.