Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart Parish - A Brief History


The property on which Sacred Heart sits was purchased by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston on August 16, 1918 from Frank D. Pierce, 1061 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA.  Because of a long permit process the actual building of the church did not start until around 1927 as the mission parish of St. Brigid.  Fr. McCarthy, Pastor of St. Brigid, and his curates came each Sunday to celebrate Mass at the Village Hall, an upstairs room in the old fire station at the corner of Massachusetts Ave. and Locust Ave. 

By the time the shell was erected, we were in the midst of the Great Depression and we lived with that shell for approximately seventeen years until, supposedly, a town official attended a funeral Mass and declared the building unsafe.  In 1931, chancery set the boundaries of Sacred Heart parish and in November, William Cardinal O’Connell formally summoned the parish into existence.  Fr. William A. Connor was appointed our first pastor.  We lived with pipe staging holding it up for a few years until a fundraiser was started and the interior of the church was finished in May of 1949. 

The first rectory was a room or two in the Rest Inn, which had once been the summer home of the Reardon family of Charlestown, also known as the Lexington Inn, which was located on the plot that now houses Arlex Oil Corp.  In order to raise money for Sacred Heart a group of ladies got together and started the Altar Guild.  It was called the Altar Guild until January of 1945 when they voted to change the name to the Sacred Heart Women’s Club.  These ladies held Bridge and Whist Parties in their homes, in the Lexington Inn and in Emerson Hall.  Whatever the function, they voted to keep 10% of the net Profit for the Club and remaining 90% to Father O’Connor to help run the parish, everything was for the benefit of Sacred Heart.  Eventually, enough money was raised and a loan was obtained to enable the parish to purchase the house located at 639 Massachusetts Ave. for approximately $6,000.00.  This was to be the rectory. 

We had Sunday school classes in the pews of the Church taught by mothers, fathers and teenagers under the supervision of the Religious of Christian Education Nuns who came from Marycliff Academy, a private Catholic Girls boarding School in Arlington.  High School Religion Classes, which also included a number of young people from the Arlington Heights area, were held in the Boiler room in the basement of the church.

On Christmas morning 1943 we were told that our pastor, Fr. O’Connor had passed away.  Fr. William Desmond was to be our next pastor.  Fr. Desmond quickly searched for a new rectory and found a beautiful home at 840 Mass Ave and that was the Rectory until approximately 1960.  Fr. Desmond was followed by Fr. Francis Murphy. 

To accommodate the growing population the Lowell family home on the corner of Follen Road was purchased and the Parish Center built in 1957.  The Children’s Mass and Sunday school classes were held there.  Later Fr. Murphy (actually he was a Monsignor, but did not want to be called that) purchased what is now the rectory from Ms Susan Duff.  After these two purchases the property of Sacred Heart Parish was complete encompassing both sides of the beginning of Follen Road. 

Fr. Murphy was followed as pastor by Fr. McCabe, followed by Fr. Thomas Foley, Rev. Msgr. William F. Murphy, as Administrator, Fr. Lawrence Pratt and Fr. David F. Delaney, in Team Ministry, Fr. Richard J. Butler and Fr. Arnold F. Colletti, present Pastor of Sacred Heart and St. Brigid Parishes.






3 Minute Retreat

Donate to Sacred Heart

Donate to St Brigid