Address: 300 Dundee Road
Zip Code: 28374
Phone Number: 910-295-6505
Web Site: http://www.sacredheartpinehurst.org
As we look forward, it is well to contemplate the past and to the thousands of Catholics who have found solace and salvation over the past hundred years in Pinehurst. At the turn of the century, Catholics in North Carolina were a very small minority of the population, living in widely scattered communities through the State. To meet the needs of these Catholics, the “Priest on Horseback” traveled from town to town, and in many cases, from farm house to farm house to bring the Sacraments to the people.
Father William J. Dillon, our first pastor, was one of these brave and dedicated priests. He came to the Sandhills in 1911, serving: Fayetteville, Southern Pines, Sanford, Hamlet, Laurinburg, Rockingham, Wadesboro, Monroe, Hope Mills, Ohio and Gibson – an area of about 1,550 square miles. Sacred Heart Church in Pinehurst began as a mission of St. Anthony of Padua in Southern Pines, serving the seasonal needs of the Irish Catholic employees of the Carolina Hotel. These maids, servants and chauffeurs would work and worship here in the fall and spring and move to the New England hotels for the summer months. With the help of many non-Catholic residents, visitors and parishioners, Father Dillon raised funds to build our Old English Gothic style church. He laid the cornerstone in 1919. The beautiful stained glass windows, noted for the detail and brilliant colors, were donated in the early twenties and now adorn this new church. In 1927, the rectory was built as a “Clergy Rest House” to accommodate priests from all over the country who came to Pinehurst for a vacation. Among the distinguished priests to visit were Archbishop Fulton Sheen and several Roman Curia dignitaries. In 1948 the dwelling that became the Maryhurst Retreat House, and later, the Parish Center, was donated to the Dioceses. The old church served Parish needs well for over seventy years. Father Dillon was originally buried beside the old church, but has since been exhumed and buried in the cemetery of Our Lady of Guadeloupe in Newton Grove, NC.
Many changes took place in the 1970’s. Retirees were joined by families and younger people attracted by the employment opportunities. Monsignor John A. Brown, who followed Father Dillon as Pastor (1942-1959) and again (1970-1975), witnessed the beginning of this growth in the parish. Monsignor James R. Jones, Monsignor William G. Wellein, and Reverend Thomas E. Currin also served as Pastors during the 1959-1975 period. Reverend Joseph Lynn (1976-1977) and Reverend Raymond Donahue (1977-1981) saw the early growth of Seven Lakes.
The parish population continued to rise under Monsignor Frederick A. Koch (1981-1990), requiring five Masses per weekend plus a Mass in Seven Lakes. It became obvious that a new and larger church had to be built. To prepare for the future, Monsignor Koch began the process by purchasing the land for our new church.
Reverend Robert T. Lawson was pastor from 1990-1999. He came to the parish with a mandate from the Most Reverend F. Joseph Gossman, Bishop of Raleigh, to build a church to meet the needs of the year 2020. Father Lawson devoted himself to the task of building a church that would be a source of pride for every parishioner, and a Pinehurst Landmark. Parishioners contributed their time, labor and funds to make this church a reality. On April 27th, 1994, Bishop Gossman dedicated the new 1,000 seat church.
Reverend William L. Pitts, our current pastor, arrived in July 1999. With present population trends, we have seen a population growth of 125% of school age children moving into our parish. We welcome them and all new parishioners to Sacred Heart Parish. It is our hope that you will find this web site useful in contracting members of the parish to sign up for an activity or ask for help if needed. We are here to serve each other!