Sacred Heart holds centennial celebration
Mass given by Cardinal Raymond Burke
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — On Aug. 5 the Sacred Heart Catholic Church parish kicked off its 100-year celebration with a mass given by Cardinal Raymond Burke. Approximately 20 priests and deacons were also on hand to commemorate the longevity of the church that found its beginnings with another Marshfield mainstay.
The church’s organization came about in February 1916 when Father Hubert Stehling, an assistant priest, began work with members of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church parish. The numerous Catholic families that comprised Marshfield had outgrown the massive church, and a second parish was needed.
At that time the name Sacred Heart of Jesus was chosen, and plans were made to construct a building that would house a church, school, auditorium, and a convent. The architecture of the church was to be among the finest in the state.
While requesting subscriptions from the intended members, the women of the church organized sales, suppers, and social events to raise the funds required for the mammoth endeavor.
Eventually, enough funds would be raised to purchase the $1,500 lot, and in August the cornerstone was laid, marking the beginning of the nearly $50,000 project.
Located halfway between 11th and 12th Streets, the school-church-convent building was constructed in a position to leave enough space for future additions to the north of the planned structure.
In the ensuing years, the church and school would grow in both parish numbers and student enrollment. The parish would then construct a convent to fill the needs of the burgeoning student numbers.
As the school began to spill into the area originally planned for the convent, the parish looked to build again. Timed with the dawn of the Great Depression, the needed finances were hard to find.
Ultimately, decreasing construction costs met the rising funds gathered by the parish, and the cornerstone on a new Tudor gothic church was laid in June 1932.
The new church doors swung open to parishioners that November, and the initial structure was then used solely as a school.
Though the parish school has since been brought into the Marshfield Area Catholic Schools system, Sacred Heart Church retains a solid community of worshippers.
In a display of fellowship, the congregation continued its centennial celebration over the weekend with a picnic Saturday followed by a Centennial Mass on Sunday.