In 1908 the Jesuit Order founded a mission in the upper room of a schoolhouse located at 158 Ontario Street. Jesuit priests from Hamilton traveled to Guelph regularly to say Mass in Italian for the local community. From 1912 to 1930, Jesuits continued to serve the mission and chapel.
The situation changed when four women, Rose Caroll, Martha Heffernan, Sarah Meagher and Maria Veroni, took a petition door-to-door seeking support for a parish in their Ward (St.Patrick). Their dedication and determination resulted in the granting of their request in 1930 by the Most Reverend John T.McNally, Bishop of Hamilton. Thus Sacred Heart Parish was founded, and Father P.L. O’Brien, P.P., was named as first pastor.
Since that time, Sacred Heart Parish has played a significant role in the growth of the City of Guelph through the contributions of its individual citizens, its support of education through Sacred Heart School, and its works of charity and community building. When it celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2005, its service was lauded by many public officials as well as celebrated by church members and leaders. Sacred Heart’s pastor, Father Jacek Walkiewicz, s.Chr., said at that time that the parish “is the place where we grow in holiness, compassion and justice.”
Over the years the parish has been led by devoted pastors and enriched by many parish organizations and groups, such as the Catholic Women’s League, Blessed Virgin Sodality, Holy Name Society, Holy Rosary Society, Legion of Mary, Altar Society and others. Parish volunteers contribute countless hours organizing events and serving in liturgical ministries.
CLERGY AND STAFF
Father Weislaw Berdowicz, S.Chr