Our Church History
In 1924, a mission was founded to meet the spiritual needs of Baton Rouge Catholic families in the neighborhoods surrounding the National and Magnolia cemeteries.
Land was donated by the Timothy Duggan family who proposed the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the patron of the mission. Father Dominic Blasco, a native of Sicily, was placed in charge of the mission. The many Italian immigrant families were overjoyed to have a priest who could preach the Word of God in their native tongue.
The mission’s congregation soon proved its ability to spiritually and financially support an independent parish. The decree of erection of the Parish of Sacred Heart of Jesus was signed on December 21, 1928, creating the sixth Catholic parish in Baton Rouge. Included was the appointment of Father Blasco as pastor. Beloved by his parishioners, he devotedly served the Sacred Heart community until his death in 1948.
By the end of the 1930s Sacred Heart had developed into one of the most important parishes in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, with a population of more than 4000. The continuing financial generosity of the congregation facilitated many improvements in the physical plant and made it possible to fulfill the parish’s long held dream of a large, beautiful church. The cornerstone for the new church was laid in March, 1941, and the completed building was dedicated on May 17, 1942. The construction was underway at the same time the United States entered World War II, underscoring the incredible commitment and determination of the parishioners to the creation of the magnificent Sacred Heart Church.