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History of Sacred Heart in Haworth

Sacred Heart Church traces its formation to the efforts of four women: Mrs. Jennie Dedecker, Mrs. Emma Ettinger, Mrs. Matilda Hull, and Mrs. Benjamin Orcutt. On December 6, 1914 the first Mass was celebrated in the J. Hurd real estate office on Terrace Street. The Reverend de Vincentiis, rector of St. Joseph's Church in Oradell, offered to serve the mission of 40 families.

The following April, ground breaking ceremonies were held for the first church at the corner of Park and Ivy Streets. Two months later, the cornerstone laying ceremonies were held. During World War I, soldiers from Camp Merritt were served by the parish.

For seven years the church had no bell. After the two-story wooden Public School on Valley Road had been destroyed by fire in December, 1922, two young parish members found the school bell rusting in the rubble. Knowing that Sacred Heart needed a bell, William R. Ryan and M. Dasher Wylly, both about 14 years old, obtained permission to take it to the church where they installed it in the belfry. They had the honor of ringing the bell before the first Midnight Mass ever held at Christmas in Sacred Heart Church. To this day, refurbished and operated electrically, the bell is still in use.

Through the following years, the number of families doubled. June 24, 1950 marked an historic milestone. Sacred Heart Church was elevated to the status of a parochial church with Haworth as its parish. The Reverend Joseph Kinsella became the first resident pastor.

To keep pace with the growth of the borough, land was acquired and approval sought to build a parochial school and a new church to replace the wooden one. With the Archbishop's blessing in 1962, a building fund was started. Construction was finished in the fall of 1963, and the formal dedication took place February 2, 1964.

The new church was now located at Park Street on the corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and a large parking area replaced the old church site. The Park Street rectory was sold and a new one purchased at 123 Maple Street. The convent was located at 400 St. Nicholas Avenue.

Sacred Heart is currently a worship community of 750 families, presided over by Fr. Stephen Fichter, Pastor.

Original Text by Nancy F. Smith