Sacred Heart Church, located in Galveston Texas is just breathtaking. As a Galvestonian I have admired the beauty of this religious sanctuary all of my life. The photo of this church speaks for itself. Little else in needed when it comes to describing just how magnificent this landmark truly is.
Sacred Heart is a Catholic Parish. The church was established on June 21, 1884 by Rt. Rev. Bishop Nicholas A. Gallagher. He decided the East End of Galveston would become the Society of Jesus. Reverend John F. O'Connor was given the task starting this parish. With the help of Father Slevin Sacred Heart had its first mass the Sunday after July 15, 1884 (Father Slevin arrived on the Island July 15, 1984). The land which would become Sacred Heart was donated by Michael B Menard. The Menard family has played a large part in the history of Galveston, Texas.
At one point Sacred Heart was the largest church in Texas (1892). It was also the third largest in the southern United States. This is in part due to the history Sacred Heart had with St. Mary's University.
The building was designed by architect Nicholas Clayton. The design was French Romanesque. Sadly the Storm of 1900 demolished the original building. This storm devastated most of Galveston and became what has been known as the worst natural disaster to ever strike the United States. All but two stained glass windows, the Mass bell, the statue of the Sacred Heart and the Crucifix were destroyed. These items remain at the church to this day. The Catholic parish family immediately made plans to reconstruct the church. On June 21, 1903 a cornerstone was laid and the church was consecrated on January 17, 1904.
Here are some exerts from the Texas Historical Commission Marker. These words truley describe the heart and soul of why Sacred Heart Chruch is an amazing part of my cities history. This church just embodies what life in Galveston, Texas is all about. Beauty, tranquility and beleifs in the true foundations that make us know we are.
The present building, the second for the parish, was constructed in 1903-04 during the pastorate of the Rev. D. J. Murphy. A prominent landmark in the city, it features ornate octagonal towers, flying buttresses, elaborate ornamentation, and a variety of arches. The design reflects influences of the Moorish, Byzantine, Gothic, and the Romanesque styles. The buildings original dome. damaged in a 1915 hurricane, was redesigned by Nicholas Clayton. Scared heart Church has played a significant role in the growth and development of Galveston. Since the 1880's, many of the city's prominent business, professional, civic, and religious leaders have been associated with the parish. Recorded Texas Landmark- 1981
I hope these facts and photos make you want to explore Galveston, Texas. This church is open to visitors. Please come experience the absolute stunning beauty of Sacred Heart. The location and contact information is as follows.
Sacred Heart Church
Galveston, Texas 77550