Sacred Heart Catholic Church will be open and available for viewing every Saturday, excluding times when the church is being used for special occasions. Please contact the Sacred Heart office during the week prior to your visit to be sure it will be open when you get there.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Palestine was dedicated on June 18, 1893. It is the successor to the1874 church of St. Joseph, built on a site given by International and Great Northern Railway, and destroyed by fire in 1890. This beautiful historic church, built in the Victorian Gothic style, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It is one of five churches in Texas built in this architectural style. The 675,000 bricks for the church were molded by hand and baked on-site from mud brought by wagon from the Trinity River. The historic building has plastered interior walls, varnished oak, and knotty pine. The ceiling, made of pine, has no nails; wooden pegs hold it together.
The altar area is surrounded by decorative windows and a religious mural. The 40 pews in the sanctuary and altar rail are original to the church. The church seats 500 comfortably and a maximum of 1,000. The Stations of the Cross were hung between 1901 and 1915. The stained glass windows are from Italy and France, many donated in honor or memory of local families. The mural "The Transfiguration of Christ" was printed in the 1920's and retouched in 1946. On April 25, 1926 a new Pilcher pipe organ replaced the old reed organ at the cost of $5,000. This organ is still used today for special occasions. In 1935, the original wooden altar which had been in use since 1880 was replaced with a marble altar. The two wooden side altars were also replaced with ones made of marble.