Sacred Heart Church History

The Heritage of Sacred Heart Parish began with Irish immigrants whose tireless effort converted forest land into grain-producing fields in order to provide livelihoods for their families. These hard-working Irishmen, who arrived in the wilderness as early as 1830, were poor in worldly goods, but rich in their Catholic faith and tradition.

In 1847, James and Bridget Burns donated an acre of land to the Diocese of Detroit. The first house of worship of the present Hudson parish was built in Medina Township. The “Catholic Hill” church, school, and cemetery served the community until 1859. In that year, land was purchased in the Village of Hudson. A barn on the property was converted to serve the church; and the parishioners started saving to build a permanent structure.

1869 Church

By 1866, the temporary structure was no longer adequate, and the Hudson faithful had accumulated $15,000 to support building their new church. Sacred Heart Parish celebrated the first services held in their new church in 1869, the year construction was completed.

In 1905, plans for another new church and rectory on the corner of Market and Mechanic Streets began. Catholic farm families left their crops for an entire day whenever the chance presented itself, to hail fieldstone from the fields to Market Street to help build the new Sacred Heart Church. The dedication of the new church was held on October 30th, 1906. The completion of one of the finest edifices in Southern Michigan was an event for not only the Catholics of Hudson, but for the entire community. 

The new Church was designed in the style of the French Renaissance, sometimes described as a combination of Romanesque and Byzantine architecture. It was outfitted with stained glass windows which were imported from Munich, Germany. Click here to learn more about the windows. The slate roof is supported by steel trusses, an unique aspect from this time period. Another unique aspect of the Church is that the exterior walls are constructed out of fieldstone, donated and carried in by local Catholic farmers. Both towers stand 86 feet tall, capped by copper domes with gold crosses. Originally, the interior of the Church was finished with oak, having heavy oak doors, wood flooring, and carved oak pews. The Sanctuary, however, was covered with terrazzo floor with mosaic tile accents. The altar itself is constructed out of marble. The pipe organ from the original church was rebuilt and placed in the balcony over the main entrance.

To mark the parish’s 125th anniversary to be celebrated on September 30th, 1984, faithful parishioners, many of them grandchildren of Sacred Heart’s founding families, transformed the church basement into a parish hall with a full kitchen. At this same time, the church organ was rebuilt to reveal the exquisite rose window.

From 2011 until the present (2017), Sacred Heart has engaged in an ambitious effort to restore the Church, effecting much needed repairs and restoring the Church to as much of its original glory as possible. Among the projects have been:
• A new roof
• Restoration and sealing of the stained glass windows
• Replacing and repainting the plaster inside the Church
• Restoring the beautiful statues throughout the Church
• New doors at the West Entrance to the Church
• Addressing the brick and mortar with tuck point work
• Upgraded the sound system with new speakers and sound board
• Tearing out the old parking lot, correcting the drain system and building a new one
• And currently, we are in the process of replacing and restoring the floor and beautifying the yard

We pray that we continue to be a light of God's presence in our world and continue to spread the love of Christ to the people in Hudson and beyond.