125th Anniversary

Sacred Heart Roslindale Celebrates 125 Years

Our Sacred Heart Parish was established in 1893. That means we are 125 years old this year. This is a time to look back and remember the people who built Sacred Heart and the legacy this parish has created in our community. It is also a time to look forward and ask ourselves what we want our parish to be and do in the future and what we can do to help this future come to be.

Over the next year, there will be many occasions to celebrate Sacred Heart Parish, to strengthen our fellowship, to build our spirituality, and to contribute to the future of this faith community. We will have opportunities to strengthen our bonds with each other, to support our neighbors in Roslindale and beyond, and to enrich our faith. Watch the bulletin and the Sacred Heart website for announcements of events, projects, and services. And make plans to participate in our celebration!

Each week a bit of the history of Sacred Heart Parish will be added below. Enjoy!

Before the Beginning . . .
there was St Thomas’ in Jamaica Plain and its pastor Father Thomas Magennis. As early as 1871, Father Magennis recognized the need for a new parish south of Jamaica Plain to care for the growing number of Catholics settling the once rural neighborhoods of West Roxbury and Roslindale. After some more or less successful attempts to establish a parish in West Roxbury, Father Magennis was approached by a group of laymen from Roslindale in 1885. They had raised enough money to buy a lot on Poplar Street and wanted to build a church. With his support they continued to raise money for a building.

But while the money accumulated so did the number of potential parishioners. By 1891, the building committee decided they needed a bigger lot and bought 40,000 square feet at the corner of Brown Avenue and Ashland Street. A January 1892 meeting raised a substantial sum for the larger church now planned. And in June 1892, Father Magennis presided over a meeting at which it was decided that the committee had raised enough money to begin building the new church in Roslindale.*

*Based on The Centennial History of Sacred Heart Parish by Neil J. Savage


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