Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church
Hilltown, PA

History of Our Parish

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was established as a parish in Hilltown in April 1919. Although the new parish covered almost 50 square miles, only 25 people attended the first Mass. A building fund was started and work soon began on construction of a church. The new church building was blessed and the first Mass was celebrated in December 1919.


As the parish grew, the desire for a school began to develop. In July 1927, a second story was added to the church to provide classrooms in the front and convent quarters in the rear. The classrooms were staffed by the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.


The Depression brought hard times to the Parish. Then World World II began and many parishioners found jobs in defense industries and moved away to be nearer to their work. Again parish finances and progress were disrupted.


With most roads still unpaved, gasoline rationed, and long distances to travel, many found it difficult to attend Mass. A mission was established in Dublin to bring the church closer to the families in the upper reaches of the parish. A commercial garage was converted into a chapel and the first Mass was celebrated there on Christmas Day, 1944.


The end of World World II marked the beginning of large-scale migration to the suburbs. The parish began a period of steady growth. Before long, it became evident that the new families signaled a need for larger facilities. In July 1950, two areas of land were purchased on the opposite side of Broad Street a short distance from the church. The land acquisition program continued from 1955 to 1958 for the tract of 12 acres which now extends between Broad Street and Hilltown Pike.


As growth continued, plans for a new school got underway. The school was completed in October of 1957. Then, as the Sunday Masses became overcrowded, the 10:00 a.m. Mass at Hilltown was moved to the school in the autumn of 1958.


By 1959, the parish had grown to some 350 families and more than 750 attended Mass every Sunday. However, the school debt remained large and little thought could be given to building a new and larger church. Therefore, a fourth Sunday Mass was added at Hilltown in May 1961 and a fifth in April 1962.


The school debt was finally liquidated in 1972 and a building fund for a new church was established. But school expenses remained high, forcing a postponement of building plans.


The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart left Hilltown at the conclusion of the 1978-79 term after 52 years of service, and the convent was closed. The school was consolidated with St. Agnes in Sellersville and the merger was taken over by the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Sellersville convent with grades 1 - 3 taught in Sellersville and grades 4 - 8 taught in Hilltown.


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