Only if I serve my neighbour can my eyes be opened to what God does for me and how much he loves me. - Pope Benedict XVI

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Diocese of Monterey

History | Sacred Heart Church

About Sacred Heart Parish

Our parish here at Sacred Heart in downtown Salinas is a group of people trying to be disciples of Jesus Christ and His new Way. We are diverse, inclusive, reverent, somewhat boisterous, very alive… and searching for God and God’s will in the Catholic tradition.

The parish of Sacred Heart in Salinas can trace its origins to 1874, when it began as a mission station of the parish of Our Lady of Refuge in Castroville. A two-parcel property located at Stone and Castroville (now Market) Streets was purchased for the construction of the mission station chapel for $2,400. 

In 1876, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Salinas was canonically established as a parish in its own right by the Rt. Rev. Thaddeus Amat y Brusi, 1st Bishop of Monterey-Los Angeles, with a small wooden church that had been erected before 1875 used for liturgical services. The name “Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary” would be forgotten over the years, so that now the parish is officially known simply as “Sacred Heart.” 

In 1877, the first resident pastor was appointed and Mr. George Graves donated land for a Catholic cemetery. In 1879, the cornerstone for a new brick church was laid by the Most Rev. Francisco Mora y Borrell, 3rd Bishop of Monterey-Los Angeles. The new parish church was finally completed in 1883 and dedicated with a simple blessing on April 3. It was an elaborate structure, with a $1,500 Italian marble altar. 

On April 18, 1906, the parish church and most of its contents were destroyed by the San Francisco earthquake. Liturgical celebrations were temporarily held in the hall of the new school building. In 1908, a new parish church was constructed and dedicated with a simple blessing on May 31 by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Conaty, 5th Bishop of Monterey-Los Angeles. The new parish church was a wooden structure of colonial design and seated 725. 

On Christmas Eve of 1926, a fire destroyed the parish church. Replacement costs were estimated at $55,000; $16,000 was covered by insurance. The boundaries of the parish were defined by decree of the Most Rev. John B. MacGinley, 1st Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, on January 1, 1927. That same year, the old rectory was moved from Stone & Market Streets to Maple Street. 

On May 13, 1928, the new Roman-basilica-style church and parish rectory were blessed by the Most Rev. John B. MacGinley, 1st Bishop of Monterey Fresno. Total costs were $90,000. The boundaries of the parish were modified by the Most Rev. Philip G. Scher, 2nd Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, on October 26, 1933. 

A celebration of the renewal and renovation of the parish church and its organ took place in the afternoon of Sunday, November 22, 1981. Various musical organizations participated in the ceremony. The parish hall was remodeled in 1989. 

In August of 2003, groundbreaking took place for two new buildings at Stone & West Market Streets. A gymnasium and youth center, and a building for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, were planned. The total cost of the project was estimated at $3.3 million. 

The Sacred Heart is a symbol of love, charity, joy, understanding, happiness, piety, and sorrow.

It is recognized as the key organ of the human body, one that coordinates the intellect with the emotions. The emblem for devotions to the Sacred Heart is a flaming heart, surmounted by a Cross and enclosed in the Crown of Thorns. As an attribute, the flaming heart generally suggests fervor: the pierced heart, empathy and compassion.

Mass Schedule

  • All Masses will be indoors
  • Saturday
    • 4:00 pm (English)
  • Sunday
    • 9:00, 11:00 am (English)
      1:00 pm, 4:00 pm (Spanish)
  • Monday - Friday
    • 12:15 pm (English)