Unique among the Catholic communities in
Fremont, Sacred Heart Catholic Church is the
youngest and the only Catholic Church on
the East side of the city.
In June 1956, Bishop Rehring appointed
Fr. Leo A. Lehmkuhl to Fremont St. Joseph
Parish as an assistant pastor with the duty
of starting a new parish on the east side of
Fremont. The new parish was officially
established on September 8, 1956. Its area
included the east side of Fremont to the
borders of St. Mary, Clyde, and St. Mary, Tiffin.
At the time the parish was formed, 2,200 persons
were listed as members.
At first, Sunday Mass was celebrated in the Fremont National Guard Armory on the East Side of State Street, Fremont. On August 12, 1958, a new church and school building was solemnly blessed by Bishop Rehring. Sacred Heart School opened on September 5, 1958, with an enrollment of 360 students in eight classrooms. Due to the large enrollment, eight additional classrooms were constructed the following year. The Sisters of Notre Dame were among the faculty of Sacred Heart School from its beginning until 2002.
During the first 12 years of the parish, Fr. Lehmukuhl served as "Father Sacred Heart," encouraging its growth by building church, school, convent, and rectory. He implemented the vision of Vatican Council II, celebrating the first liturgy with the priest facing the people and inviting the laity into active ministry.
Fr. Bernard J. Shenk succeeded Fr. Lehmkuhl as pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church on April 18, 1968. During his five years as pastor, he supervised the construction of a parish hall that was dedicated on November 28, 1971.
In 1972 Fr. Benedict E. Ringholz was appointed the third pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The following year, the interior of the church was renovated in accordance with the directives of Vatican II. In 1977, the parish became part of the Pastoral Alliance and a collaborative pastoral staff was formed.
In 1980 Fr. Earl Loeffler was appointed the fourth pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and was privileged to preside over the parish Silver Jubilee Year. Growth and change continued to mark the parish and school community. In 1984 a pre-school program for 3 to 5-year-olds was established. To meet the needs of working parents, an extended-day program began in 1988.
Fr. Michael Ricker was appointed the fifth pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in 1991. In 1993 the S.H.A.R.E. (Sacred Heart Alternative Readiness and Extended Day) Center moved into the renovated former convent. Visioning for the future continued: a parish five-year development plan was inaugurated; and he Fremont deanery began pastoral planning.
In 1995 Fr. Mark Herzog became Sacred Heart's sixth pastor. During his administration, the parish five-year development plan was implemented. On September 15, 1996, the parish celebrated its 40th anniversary. In 1998 the Sacred Heart Catholic Church inaugurated a capital campaign to build a new worship space and renovate existing buildings. The new church was dedicated on the feast of the Sacred Heart in June of 2000. Soon after, Fr. John Brennen celebrated his first Mass as a priest here in his home parish.
July 2009, Fr. Ken Lill became the parish's eighth pastor. Under his administration the Fremont Catholic Schools of St Ann, St Joseph, Sacred Heart, and Saint Jospeh Central Catholic High School came together to form a unified school system called the Bishop Hoffman Catholic School System. Our diocesan loan to build our current worship space was paid off and the Memorial Prayer Garden was enhanced. The Outdoor space was formally dedicated on the Feast of Sacred Heart June 2012.
In October 2014, the parish began a capital campaign to raise funds for upkeep and renovations to our buildings. The goal of $350,000.00 was reached in only 8 months. In February 2015 Fr. Ken suffered a debilitating stoke that caused him to retire due to health reasons in October of that year.
In November 2015, Fr. Krzysztof Kardzis was appointed as the ninth pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.