ADDRESS: 326 Main St.

DENOMINATION/AFFILIATION: Roman Catholic

HISTORY: In 1848, Irish Catholic workmen, following the growth of the railroads, settled in the Yarmouth area with their families. In order to worship in a church on Sunday, the faithful traveled, often on foot, the 12 miles to Portland.

In 1878, the heads of 10 Irish Catholic families, eager for their own church, met in the home of Patrick Doran with a priest from Portland. They were joined by two prominent non-Catholics, Cyrus Sargent and Dr. James Bates, who offered moral and financial support.

Before the year was half over, the necessary funds had been raised, land on Cumberland Street in Yarmouth had been purchased and ground was broken.

the end of July, a sturdy edifice, costing $1,700, was dedicated “under the title and patronage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” It served the parish for 92 years.

In April 1920, ground was broken for the present-day Sacred Heart Church. Architecturally unlike any other church in the area, it was built in the grand Romanesque style by master stonemason Charles Knight Sr., using stone from his family’s quarry in North Yarmouth. On Labor Day 1921, the cornerstone was blessed and placed in position.

Construction continued over the next couple of years, with the men of the parish assisting with the labor. The first Mass was celebrated on June 5, 1923, the Feast Day of the Sacred Heart, although work continued on the building for the next five years.

In 1973, the Rev. Charles Murphy, who had been a curate, returned as pastor and was later named a monsignor.

Under his guidance, church life flourished. At this time, as part of Sacred Heart’s centennial celebration, the interior of the church was restored to reflect the original 1920 plans, which included exposing the wooden beams of the vaulted ceiling and uncovering the magnificent rose window.

The Rev. Roger Chabot began his pastorate in 1984 and oversaw more growth and change — the expansion of the music ministry, the adoption of a sister parish in Haiti, the addition of an exterior handicapped-access ramp and the installation of an oak-encased restored and rebuilt pipe organ, made possible by the efforts of the parish community.

What started more than 150 years ago as the shared dream of a few dozen people has become the Sacred Heart/St. Jude parish of more than 1,300 families.

In 2005, Sacred Heart Parish welcomed the Rev. Raymond Picard as its new, and current, pastor.

WORSHIP SERVICES: Masses are at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday, and 8:15 a.m. weekdays.

CONTACT: 846-5584; www.sheartparish.org