Notre Dame of the Sacred Heart Parish 2010-2011

With growing debt, an aging population, a community downsizing everyday with jobs and housing moving to warmer and more favorable climates, Notre Dame and Sacred Heart Parishes now sharing the pastoral and sacramental presence of the same pastor had to take a hard look at not only the financial limitations, but the age and upkeep of property and the demands of many ministries to better consolidate limited resources. In 2010, Bishop McManus of Worcester merged these two parishes to create Notre Dame of the Sacred Heart Parish. That same day, Sunday, May 22, 2010, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church was officially closed with its last Mass. The buildings are now the responsibility of Saint John Paul II Parish, created on July 1, 2011.

In 2013, the magnificent marble high altar and the exquisite windows of Zettler were sold for $175,000 along with the Stations of the Cross. The altar of sacrifice and the statues from the marble altar have been installed in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Chapel in the Ministry Center. The sanctuary lamp still burns in Saint Mary Church and the statue of the favorite saint, Sainte Jeanne d’Arc graces the sanctuary of Notre Dame Church while the organ has new life at Saint Hedwig Church. This previous gem of a church has tragically been lost to the religious faithful in Southbridge, but many of the jewels of its beauty continue to shine brightly and therefore inspiring faith in the Catholics of Southbridge as their ancestor and benefactors wished.