Sacred Heart Sesquicentennial shirts are available to help us celebrate and remember this joyous occasion. Please click on the image to view and print the order form, or contact Connie Goldsmith at 402-932-3702.
Several men and women from Sacred Heart Parish have dedicated their lives to the service of the Church as priests, brothers, and sisters. The men that became diocesan priests are: Fr. Placed McGee, Fr. James d’Autremont, Fr. Thomas Keating, Fr. Carl Manternach, Fr. James Goedken, Fr. Andrew Lawrence, and Fr. Kyle Digmann. Br. Craig Digmann is a Glenmary Missionary.
Annie Green from Monticello served as Sr. Aiden Green with the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) from 1872-1879. This congregation of sisters served Sacred Heart School from 1922-1926. In 1926, Constance Meyer joined the BVMs.
The Sisters of the Order of St. Francis (OSF) staffed the school from 1926 until 1993. Grace Mary Smith joined this congregation as Sr. May Vianney; Elizabeth Fothergill joined as Sr. Mary Garnier; Phyllis Manternach joined as Sr. Anthony Mary; and Dorothy Schwendinger is Sr. Dorothy. Lillian d’Autremont and Audrey Welch also became religious sisters.
Sr. Laura Goedken serves in the Order of Preachers (OP), the Dominican Order.
Stephanie Hogan, serving as Sr. Maria Stefania of the Immaculate Coredemptrix, is a member of the Franciscan Family of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Maximillian.
From Fr. Daniel Cogan in 1868 to Fr. Paul Baldwin in 2018, Sacred Heart has had numerous pastors serving our parish. We thank them all for their ministry to the parishioners of Sacred Heart for 150 years.
Fr. Daniel Cogan
Fr. James Walsh
Fr. J.P. O’Dowd
Fr. P.J. O’Connor
Fr. John Tobin
Fr. John McCormick
Fr. George Hauck
Fr. Anton Lorenz
Fr. Herman Dietz
Msgr. Eugene Lorenz
Fr. Joseph Kirk
Fr. Fred Bahning
Fr. Justin Kane
Fr. Thomas Braak
Fr. James Chappell
Msgr. Neil Tobin
Fr. Donald Schmitt
Fr. Keith Birch
Fr. Paul Baldwin
Fr. William Holzer
Fr. Thomas Rhomberg
Fr. Carl Manternach
Fr. William Wilke
Fr. John Herzog
Fr. John Ptacek
Fr. LaVerne Manternach
Fr. John Hussmann
Fr. Paul McManus
Fr. John Casey
Fr. Al Carmen
After overseeing the building of our present church, Father Hauck promoted plans for a Catholic school. In the spring of 1922, construction began on a brick school on the corner of Maple and Third Streets, east of the church. Just a few months later, Sacred Heart School opened on September 4th welcoming grades 1-9.
Four Sisters of Charity arrived from Mount Carmel in Dubuque to staff the new school. The rectory was moved from the school site to north of the school. It was then used as a convent for the arriving sisters. In 1923, 10th grade was added and in 1924, a full high school curriculum was offered. Janice Schneider and Marcus McAleer were the first graduates of Sacred Heart School.
The Sisters of St. Francis came to teach at Sacred Heart in 1926. They served the parish and the school for 67 loyal years. Sister Madonna Friedman was the last of the Franciscans at the school, leaving in 1993.
On August 30, 1959, a new Sacred Heart High School building located south of the church was dedicated by Archbishop Leo Binz. The final high school graduating class was that of 1969. The building now houses Sacred Heart elementary students, in PreKindergarten – 6th grade.
A beautiful feature of Sacred Heart Church is the series of magnificent stained glass windows crafted by Franz X. Zettler’s company of Munich, Germany; Royal Bavarian Art Institute. Zettler (1841-1916) worked for his father-in-law’s company, Institute for Christian Art Works, before starting his own stained glass company in 1870. At the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Zettler won top prize for his stained glass. In 1939, the two companies merged. Zettler was known for painting perspective into his windows. This can be seen particularly in our church’s window depicting the Epiphany.
The Sacred Heart Church stained glass windows were not installed immediately when the church was built in 1914. It is believed that after being shipped from Germany, the windows sat on the dock in New York for many months due to delays during World War I. Individual and organization donor names are written at the bottom of the windows. Also, look for F.X. Zettler’s name.
In medieval times, when many people could not read, the scenes depicted in stained glass windows told the important stories of their faith. How fortunate we are today to look upon such beautiful artistry from 100 years ago and ponder the tenets of our faith.
Sacred Heart Parish had moved from meeting in a home and hall prior to the Civil War, to a wooden church in 1868, to a vacant school building following the tornado, to a rock church in 1880.
Father George Hauck came to Monticello in 1913. Having overseen the building of the Sacred Heart Church at Fillmore, he was to take charge of procuring a new church in Monticello. The rock church on 7th Street was structurally fine, but its location was a source of concern. A more centrally located site was found on the northeast corner of Sycamore and Cedar Streets, our present location.
Harry Netcott of Independence made the plans for the new brick church and Anton Zwack was the builder. At a cost of $40,000, construction started July 13, 1914. The first Mass was Christmas Day the same year. The parish consisted of 65 families. The new Sacred Heart Catholic Church was dedicated June 20, 1915. In the booklet for the church’s dedication is the following:
…in years to come, future generations will have to look back and admire the strong faith and the deep love of God of the people who built the new Sacred Heart Church in 1914.
After the first Sacred Heart Church was destroyed by a tornado in 1878, it was decided to move to a new location. It was believed that the Angle Street site was in a storm path. Sacred Heart’s pastor, Father O’Connor, selected the new site in the northwest part of Monticello, presently West 7th Street. Mr. Cashen sold the church five acres of land for $100 per acre, which was considered quite a price for land at the time.
Dubuque architect Keenan drew plans for a 30×80 foot church. Frank Fry and John Bignelli used rock from the quarry easy of town for its construction. The church cost $7,000. Additional furnishings and pastor’s residence brought the total cost to $12,000. Sacred Heart Church moved to its present location in 1914.
The rock church and parsonage were purchased by Claude Fothergill in 1929. Fothergill built a home using the stone from the church. The home’s wooden floors were made from the church’s wooden floor. And the rock cornerstone reads 1880.
Sacred Heart parishioner and local Scout, Ryan Oswald, completed an Eagle Scout project to provide an online database of burial information for Sacred Heart Cemetery in Monticello, Iowa. With the help of several volunteers and through many long hours, Ryan was able to verify birth dates, death dates and other information for over 1,200 deceased located in the Sacred Heart Cemetery.
You can find the searchable database online: www.namesinstone.com
This year Sacred Heart Parish celebrate 150 years since the founding of the parish in 1868. We had a special Sesquicentennial Anniversary Mass at 10:30 AM on Sunday, September 9 with Archbishop Jackels joining us as the celebrant.
Ellen Strittmatter has been tasked with gathering information and preparing articles to share regarding the Sacred Heart Parish history. You can find these articles on our website, on Facebook and in the bulletin.
Sesquicentennial Anniversary Mass
Prior to the Civil War (and any church building in Monticello), Father Jeremiah Tracy celebrated the first Mass in the McDonnon home. Later services were held in Kinsella Hall. In 1868, Bishop Smith sent Father Daniel Cogan to Monticello to organize a congregation and build a church. A lot was purchased on Angle Street, (South Maple and Varvel), which at the time was a central location. A 30×60 foot wood frame church was constructed at a cost of $2,500. The name give the church was “Sacred Heart.”
Ten years later, on October 8, 1878, the fate of the parish took a dramatic turn. The Monticello Express describes the beginning of the day:
A day that dawned fairly and suspiciously enough, and ran its course with strange alternations of swelling gusts of wind, and sultry stillness, to end in darkness, and in tempest that rent the very earth, and left a swath of ruin and destruction in its path.
The account continues to describe a tornado’s rampage through Monticello and total destruction of Sacred Heart Church. The Monticello School Board then offered the congregation the use of a vacant school building on the corner of Sixth and Cedar Streets. The plans for another church began.