The faith community of Sacred Heart in Lakewood, New York, as it exists today, was derived from a merger of two former Sacred Heart congregations. Over the past ninety six years the parish has flourished. The first Sacred Heart Church at Ohio Street in Lakewood was dedicated on Pentecost Sunday, May 26, 1912, in the former Union chapel. The building had been purchased by the Right Reverend Charles H. Colton, then Bishop of Buffalo. The Reverend Thomas H. Harrigan was appointed as the first pastor.
On June 20, 1944, the former Blood family residence on Dunham Avenue in West Ellicott was donated to Sacred Heart Parish. A second congregation was now established. Mr. Blood was one of the founders and a lay trustee of Sacred Heart. The donation was accepted by Bishop Duffy. The Bishop also approved the name “Chapel of the Most Precious Blood”, which was selected by the then pastor Father John Richards. The building was converted to a church, and dedicated on Sunday, August 28, 1944, by the Reverend Monsignor John C. Carr. Sunday Mass was celebrated in the Chapel for the next 18 years.
As the congregations began to outgrow their facilities, plans were initiated to build a new church on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood. Groundbreaking occurred on June 11, 1963. The first Mass was celebrated in January 1964 by the Reverend John T. Horne.
Sacred Heart parish has continued to grow. Growth required expansion. First, the John T. Horne Church Hall was renovated in 1994 to make classrooms for teaching the Word of the Lord. Second, a parish center with a gathering area and five additional class/meeting rooms were proposed, funded, and constructed behind the Church. This facility was dedicated in the fall of 2001 by Biship Henry J. Mansell. The center is handicapped accessible, and has handicapped facilities and a chairlift. A playground, volleyball court, horseshoe pits and pavilion are available for youth and adult enjoyment.
Journey in Faith and Grace began in the Diocese because of the decreased number of priests to serve the parishes. Parishes would be linked, merged or become oratories throughout the Diocese of Buffalo. On May 29, 2008, Sacred Heart Church in Lakewood was merged with Our Lady of the Snows in Panama to become Sacred Heart Parish. We began another leg of history together, working side by side, spreading God’s love. We now have over 600 families at the two sites with the Fr. Piotr Zaczynski as our pastor.