Sacred Heart Parish to celebrate centennial anniversary with concert, thanksgiving Mass

Friday, Jun. 16, 2017
Sacred Heart Parish to celebrate centennial anniversary with concert, thanksgiving Mass + Enlarge

SALT LAKE CITY —  A century of history will be commemorated on June 23 and 25 as Sacred Heart Parish celebrates its 100th anniversary with a concert and a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving. These events will showcase the growth that the parish has experienced over 100 years of prayer and worship.
The June 23 “Windows of Faith” concert will be presented by the parish choir, the Heart Music Ensemble and the Lux Singers; conductors will be Haruhito Miyagi, Lisa Chaufty and Leland Spindler.
Bishop Oscar A. Solis will preside at the thanksgiving Mass on June 25.
Sacred Heart Parish was established by Bishop Joseph S. Glass on Sept. 24, 1917 and was initially known as Our Divine Savior Parish. Mass was celebrated at parishioners’ homes until a church was built. According to Salt of the Earth by Bernice Maher Mooney and Monsignor J. Terrence Fitzgerald, the first Mass was celebrated in a temporary chapel on Christmas Day of 1917 by the parish’s founding pastor, Father Henry J. Wientjes.
In 1918, the property where the parish’s first church would be built was purchased by the diocese. The final renovations were completed within the year, and the first services there were celebrated on Dec. 22, 1918.
The name of the parish was changed to Sacred Heart Parish after a new church was constructed in 1950. This undertaking was carried out by the third pastor of the parish, Father William E. Vaughan, who was granted the title “monsignor” in 1953.
The new building cost $175,000, which covered both the building of the structure itself and the installation of several windows that portray “the main figures and the heraldry of Catholic Utah history and revered men and women in the United, States, Canada and South America,” according to Salt of the Earth.
The church was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which prompted the parish’s switch to the name it holds today. Father Francis B. Pellegrino, who served as the fourth pastor in Sacred Heart Parish from 1963 to 1977, later remodeled the sanctuary and updated the interior of the church to reflect the norms of Vatican II.
With the changes to the parish name and the way in which worship was conducted came one of the largest developments over the years, which occurred among the parishioners themselves. In the early 2000s, the parish began to serve as a home for the diocese’s blossoming Hispanic community. According to Salt of the Earth, “Older Sacred Heart parishioners notice the change over the years from a congregation of diversity now made up largely of Spanish-speaking parishioners.”
The parish has also experienced many changes in leadership. According to Salt of the Earth, beginning in 1938 the parish was under the pastoral care of the Paulist Fathers. After a shortage of priests forced the Paulist Fathers to withdraw from Utah, the Blessed Sacrament Fathers and Brothers took up the administration of the parish, while in recent years it has been ministered to by diocesan priests.
Sacred Heart Parish has experienced a multitude of change, from buildings, to names, to a different culture of parishioners. But through these changes, Sacred Heart Parish has persisted for more than a century and continues to persist, building on the foundations of worship and faith as it passes into the beginnings of a second century.
WHAT: “Windows of Faith” concert
WHEN: Friday, June 23, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Sacred Heart Parish, 174 South 200 East, SLC
Free and open to the public. Following the concert will be a reception in the church basement. A gallery of photos will showcase the parish’s history.

WHAT: Mass of Thanksgiving
WHEN: Sunday, June 25, 11 a.m.
WHERE: Sacred Heart Parish, 174 South 200 East, SLC
Free and open to the public.

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