Sacred Heart Church, Grundy Center

n 1869, pioneer Catholic families stetles in the territory of the present Grundy Center parish. In the ensuing years, priests rode the 27 miles from Cedar Falls to offer mass monthly – more often irregularly.

In 1879, the Grundy Center charge was officially attached to the Vinton parish as an out-mission. The Vinton pastors made the trip by buggy or train.

In 1884, the Grundy Center parish purchased two lots at the east edge of town. Erection of a church started to become a reality in 1885 as supporters hauled sand and rock by team from Steamboat Rock. The modest wooden building was blessed in September 13, 1885. The parish continued to be the responsibility of Vinton until 1892 when it became a mission of Blessing in Black Hawk County.

In 1887, Most Rev. John Hennessy, Archbishop of the Dubuque Diocese, purchased the north section of Rose Hill Cemetery – two acres in all for a Catholic burying ground. In 1937, it became the responsibility of Sacred Heart Church.

Father Patrick Hogan was appointed resident pastor for the Catholics in Grundy Center and the Murphy Settlement in 1896. Given the option of living in Grundy Center or at the Murphy Settlement, he decided to reside in Grundy Center, the county seat. Every two weeks he drove to the Murphy Settlement.

By 1931, with funds available from the William Lynch endowment fund, a decision was reached to build a new brick church on the site of the now too small frame church

In June of 1947, Father Holub substituted stained glass windows for the simple, opaque windows that were put into the casements when the church was built. The windows depict the lives of twelve saints: St. John the Apostle, St. Jerome, St. Martin, St. William, St. Vincent DePaul, St. Lawrence, St. Henry, St. Peter, St. Agnes, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Veronica and St. Michael.