Sacred Heart Catholic Church recently celebrated the Feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus and the 90th anniversary of the church building at a reception in the gymnasium. Displays featured pictures, uniforms, yearbooks and audio/visuals of the church and school. Special guest was Manuel Ibarra, who retired as maintenance supervisor of the historic building after nearly 15 years of service.
Rev. Rogatian S. Urassa, also thanked scores of volunteers who serve in various lay ministries, including Holy Communion during Mass, in the hospital and to the homebound; instructors in religious education, youth group, and adult faith formation; those at Mass such as lectors, acolytes, altar servers, choir members, ushers and altar society; and those who serve others at funeral dinners, PALM dinners, food pantries and Thanksgiving baskets, prayer chain and special events and devotions.
Pastoral council members who organized the event included President Bonita Fillmore, Vice President Melissa Cooke, Martha Decker-Hall and Marty Weissinger, who interviewed two centenarians and other past and present parishioners and teachers for an engaging video. Catholic Daughters Court Klamath, led by Regent Marcia Pistone Metzler and Vice Regent Sharleen Hutchison, assisted with setup, food service and cleanup.
Past President Lynne Butterworth, emcee, recognized Fr. Roga’s 15th anniversary as Sacred Heart’s pastor. She read Luke’s Gospel for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Jesus’s Parable of the Good Shepherd, who left his large flock of sheep to search for the one who was lost.
Founded in 1905
The original Sacred Heart Church was founded in Klamath Falls in 1905. In 1910, the church was enlarged and a room for the priest was added. In 1916, property was purchased at Eighth and High streets. Due to the coming of the railroad and expansion of the lumber industry, a drive for a new church and rectory began in 1928. Construction started June 18, 1929, and was completed in October. The total cost of both buildings was $87,168.97. The earthquake on Sept. 20, 1993, caused nearly $250,000 in damage. Restoration included large steel beams in the bell tower and the addition of geothermal heat.
Sacred Heart School, founded in 1917, was staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, who were succeeded in 1924 by the Sisters of St. Francis. Thousands of children in the Basin attended the K-12 school until it closed after the 1992-93 academic year. Today, school buildings that were not damaged in the 1993 earthquake are used for children’s Sunday school and adult education classes. The auditorium and gymnasium are available for rental.
Many Catholic churches are named for the Sacred Heart around the world. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began in the 11th and 12th centuries in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries. Specific devotions became popular after St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation nun, had a series of visions of Christ, who “disclosed to me the marvels of his Love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart,” according to the Catholic News Agency. Contemporary Catholic Christians view her Sacred Heart visions as another sign of Jesus’s love for humanity and a call to live and share it with others.