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Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Mission

Address

11652 S. Church St.

Neighborhood

Morgan Park

Hours

Sat, Oct 19: 11am - 3pm

Sun, Oct 20: 12pm - 4pm

Photography Permitted Washrooms Available

Built

1904

Description

Sacred Heart Mission was founded in 1892 to serve French Canadian Catholics living in the area of the Purington Brickyards. After the first structure, in Alsip, was destroyed by fire, the current church was dedicated on December 11, 1904. Originally a wooden structure, parishioners themselves clad it in Purington Bricks, giving the church its present exterior form. Fr. Raymond DeNorus, a priest from France was appointed in 1912; he solidified the Mission’s devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A hand-shaped plaster monolith said to resemble the Grotto at Lourdes, may have been built because of his connections to Lourdes. Beginning in the late 1930s many interior details were simplified and by the 1950s the interior took on much of its present appearance. The church, always much smaller than surrounding parishes, was closed in January 1979. Members formed Save Our Shrine (SOS) and rallied the larger Beverly and Morgan Park community. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin reopened it as a volunteer-supported Mission of Holy Name of Mary parish. Restoration work was completed in 1983, and the small Mission continues to this day as an active place of Catholic worship.

Visitor Experience

Learn the remarkable history of this church from storyboards in the 1st floor Hall, then ascend the stairs to see the nave with its vivid stained glass and the one-of-a-kind grotto. The church is located on Church Street, a block east of Vincennes, and is most easily reached from the north or east. Refreshment's will be available. For wheelchair access, a chairlift is available.