Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Since 1967, Sacred Heart Catholic Church has offered liturgical services in Spanish and acted as a gathering space for the Hispanic community in Mount Pleasant.

“The church is much more than a place to celebrate Mass and give confession. Many of the faithful are without money or jobs, are alone in a foreign country whose language they speak only a little or not at all, are emotionally wounded. But they are at home at Sacred Heart.” Ruben Castaneda, “A Santuario for the Body and the Soul: NW Church is a Beacon for Area's Hispanics,” Washington Post Article (April 13, 1992)

Many of the immigrants who transformed Mount Pleasant in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s relocated from primarily Catholic countries. Catholic churches provided places of refuge for newly arrived families and individuals seeking religious guidance and community. Sacred Heart, which was designed by Murphy & Olmsted and completed in 1922, began offering services in Spanish four-decades later in 1967, and ultimately evolved into a hub of Hispanic community activity.  

Clerical workers from the church immersed themselves in the neighborhood, working with youth, political organizers, and residents on a range of projects. Sacred Heart hosted a variety of events, teaching English classes, housing the GALA Hispanic Theatre group, and offering space for community meetings. 

Sacred Heart has continued to engage with the surrounding community and adapted its mission to meet the needs of the neighborhood. The church currently offers services in Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, French Haitian Creole, and English.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)  


Castaneda, R. (1992, Apr 13). "A Santuario for the Body and the Soul: NW Church is a Beacon for Area's Hispanics." The Washington Post (1974-) Retrieved from Proquest.



Sacred Heart Catholic Church: Audio
Source: Written and Recorded by Shae Corey
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3211 Sacred Heart Way NW Washington DC 20010