Sacred Heart Catholic Church is an historic church located near Downtown Detroit. It was built in 1875 to serve the large German community that lived in the area at that time. Over the years, as the neighborhood changed, it developed into a mainly African American church. Today, Sacred Heart continues to serve this area of Detroit with a mainly African American congregation.
The church is made up of 2 rows of cushioned pews with a center aisle that leads up to the altar. On one side of the altar is a large statute of Mother Mary while a large statute of Jesus adorns the wall on the other side of the altar. Around the outer walls of the church the Stations of the Cross is displayed with mostly black characters including a black Jesus.
Fr. Norman Thomas is the pastor at Sacred Heart. During our visit, on the first Sunday of Lent, Fr. Thomas spoke on the importance of God and our relationship with him especially during this Lenten season.
The mass at Sacred Heart followed the basic path of a Catholic mass but it also incorporated some aspects that helped it relate to the (mostly) African American congregation. These included allowing a member of the congregation to give testimony on why he became a Catholic and allowing the Eucharistic Ministers to be on the altar during the mass and giving them a greater speaking role. Member of the congregation were also allowed to offer up prayer requests during the prayers of the faithful.
The congregation at Sacred Heart really made us feel welcomed. They were very friendly and allowed us to fully participate in the mass, including helping to bring up the gifts to the altar. We will, long, remember the people of Sacred Heart and the positive impression they left on us.
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Sacred Heart Catholic Church founded in 1875
Plaque commerating the 100th Anniversary of Sacred Heart
Part of the outer fascade of Sacred Heart
Plaque proclaiming Sacred Heart a historic site
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Sacred Heart on a snowy day.
The altar at Sacred Heart
Stations of the Cross
A crucifix with a black Jesus
Part of the altar at Sacred Heart