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If you have any public domain photographs of historical interest to donate, whether scanned or printed please contact the webmaster, Roger Chartier and your submission will be credited if it is displayed on this site.

By Roger Chartier


Sacred Heart Parish - New Bedford, Ma.
Church - School - Convent - Students

Links to Sacred Heart Parish Pages

Sacred Heart Main Page School uniform 60's early 70's  
1941 Girls Paulette Chartier 1967  
1965 Graduation Rev. George Pager 1877-1882  
Demolition of School and Convent

Pg 1---
- Pg 2 ---- Pg 3 ---- Pg 4
In 1875, a large piece of land was bought on the corner of Robeson (Runs East and West) and Ashland (Runs North and South). Ashland later changed it's name to Summer Street.

On January 1, 1876, the Rev. George Pager was made pastor of the parish. In August of 1876, the cornerstone was laid for the Sacred Heart Church.

It was dedicated on December 17, 1876 with construction costs of about $20,000.00
Sacred Heart Parish was a French-Canadian Parish and the city had only about 60 French-Canadian families at the time.

In 1886, the first Sacred Heart school and convent in New Bedford was built and opened the following year. The Sisters of Mercy took charge of the Sunday School but didn't last long there.

By 1882, the pastor had died of consumption. His successor, Rev.,J.A. Prevost had a school and convent built in 1886.

By 1887, the school was put in charge of the sisters of Holy Cross from Montreal, in that year a new church was built, and the Sacred Heart Cemetery on Mt. Pleasant Street was established..

In 1888, Father Payan took over from Father Prevost and in 1889 had the sturdy brick school built costing about $40,000.00 to replace the school that had been built only 3 years prior and only opened 2 years prior.
Apparently they had the money to spend..

In April of 1895 Rev. C.P. Gadboury was made the new pastor. An offshoot of the parish was St. Hyacinth parish on the corner of County and Rivet Streets in the south end of the city. It was established in 1888 and gained it's independence on Oct. 16, 1890.

And the history of Sacred Heart Parish continues until the terrible destruction of the school in 1972 under the pastor Rev. Henry Canuel. The demise of the Church followed some years later..

Most parishioners were dead set against the demolition, but it was forced on them like it or not by the Pastor and Bishop.

Most people thought that the school building, which was in remarkably good condition, could have served many other purposes and generated an income for the parish but no, the powers that be would not entertain that consideration.
If you have any information to add or have the ability to donate photos to the Sacred Heart School web pages here, please contact
Please scan photos in a high resolution - 300 dpi or better and full size.

A late 1800's - early 1900's photo - Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Sacred heart Shcool, Convent and Church - New BEdford, Ma. -

Below map of the area

In the lower right section of the block the parking lot and open turf area are where the school, convent playground and church ones stood. The church was on the corner facing Summer St. In the top of the photo is the Sacred Heart Nursing Home.

The house at the bottom of the picture nearest the parking lot was once owned by the Vanasse family who had children who attended the school. No excuse for being late.

in the 1960's and 70's one of the middle houses on Cottage street was the home of the Michaud family who had several children attend the school as well.

There were many students who could walk to school in a few minutes from nearby homes as well as those who commuted from the far reaches of Acushnet etc..
MAp of former Sacred Heart Parish -