Start Year 1915
In the early 1900s, the city of Homestead was the last stop on the road to nowhere. Old Federal Highway came from Miami to a point just south of Homestead and there it ended. The first Catholic Mass was celebrated in 1915 at the home of Mrs. Charles Hammond who had made arrangements for a priest to visit Homestead from Holy Name Church (now called Gesu) in Miami. Catholics were given cards listing the dates when Mass would be celebrated at the Hammond residence.
According to the public records of Miami-Dade county, the original Sacred Heart Parish property was purchased on March 21, 1916, by the St. Louis Catholic Benevolent and Educational Associated of Tampa. That same year, the Extension Magazine Company of Chicago sent $1,500 to build a church on the site where our parish hall now stands. Work on the first Church began on 1917. The materials (including the altar) were donated parishioners made the pews. That building served as a church for 16 years and as the rectory for the next 20 years.
Father Francis Callahan was assigned to Sacred Heart for the winter season in 1920. He used a mule for transportation. In 1920, the parish of Sacred Heart numbered 15 Catholics families. The first priest to take up residence was Rev. J. O'Keefe who was pastor from June to September 1929. Rev. Alfred McDonald succeeded Fr. O'Keefe. In 1930, under the direction of Fr. McDonald, the first Altar Society, now named Women's Club was formed. Fr. McDonald built the second church and its dedication, by the Most Rev. Patrick Barry, Bishop of St. Augustine, was held on November 26, 1933. Fr. James Coonan succeed Fr. McDonald as Pastor. Succeeding pastors include Fr. T. Geary, '39-'41; Fr. M. J. Nixon '42-'45; Fr. Paul J. Manning, '45-'50; Fr. Mullaly, '50-'52; Fr. J. O'Dowd, '52-'57; David Bushey '63-'65; Fr. Xavier Morass, '66-'69; Fr. Patrick Murray, '69-'74; Fr. Gilberto Fernandez, (now Bishop Fernandez) '74-'76; Fr. Vincent Andruiska, '76-'79; Fr. Daniel Dorrity, '79-'89; Fr. David Smith, '89-'91; Fr. Thomas G. Honold, '91-'93; Fr. Jose Espino, '93-'97; Fr. James McCreanor, '97-.
Sacred Heart School opened its doors in 1954 under the direction of Mother Patrina and three Sisters of St. Francis. The Sisters of St. Francis from Allegany, New York, directed the school from 1954 until 1974. The school continued to prosper and expand in spite of the loss of the Sisters. Mrs. Catherine P. Carr was the first lay principal. There were 12 teachers and 307 students. It was in November, 1970 that the first carnival began. That tradition begun in '70 and ended in 2008.
1st Grade Class (1954)
8th Grade Class (2009)