Hundreds of parishioners turned out over the weekend to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s presence in Colorado Springs.
The three-day celebration kicked off with “Food Truck Friday,” featuring historical tours of the church, live music from the “All in Jazz Trio,” and food from Craig’s Fusion Mobile Restaurant and Papa Bear’s Grill Restaurant. Revelers could fight the heat with cool treats from the Wicked Good Ice Cream Truck.
More than 400 people were on hand for the Friday festival, according to church officials.
Saturday’s festivities included a 5:30 p.m. mass and the dedication of a new sculpture: Our Lady of Sorrows, by local physician and artist Joel Ernster.
Sunday’s Masses were the final services for Fr. Ron Raab, who served as Sacred Heart’s pastor for nine years. On Tuesday, Raab will bid the church and the city farewell as he accepts a new position at Saint Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
“Father Ron has been such a blessing to me, to the diocese, and to you all,” said James Golka, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs. “Thank you for your ministry of care and attention and faithfulness to the people of this parish and the people of our diocese.”
Since assuming leadership at Sacred Heart in 2013, Raab has been responsible for a sweeping renewal effort involving the church building and grounds. He spearheaded the “repaving and beautification” of the parking lot and surrounding campus, as well as the renovation of the previously unused rectory.
In recognition of his service, the church gifted Raab with a “plaque of gratitude” that hung in the church lobby during his final week.
“In fulfilling his vision for the renewal of the parish, Fr. Ron uniquely prepared Sacred Heart for future generations of parishioners and the community’s second 100 years,” the plaque read.
In an emotional address to the parish, Raab said he was humbled and honored by their support and trust during his years of service at Sacred Heart.
“I also want to thank members of our parish staff through the years who worked so hard to make things look easy,” he said.
Sacred Heart also welcomed its new pastor, Fr. Jarrod Waugh, during Sunday’s service.
“It was always hard on a parish to say goodbye to their pastor on one weekend, and on the next weekend say hello to your new pastor,” Golka said. “So we take on the great task of doing both at this one Mass here today.”
After the 9 a.m. Mass, Golka and Raab dedicated a new addition to the church grounds — St. André House, named for St. André Bessette, the first saint of the Congregation of the Holy Cross who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. The new venue includes a meeting space, classrooms and handicap-accessible restrooms.
For many decades, the building housing Sacred Heart has served multiple generations of Colorado Springs worshipers, and those parishioners are what make the church an indelible part of the city’s history, Raab said.
“Our parish is much more than buildings,” he said. “Thank you so much for your presence, prayer and participation in these lovely nine years.”
— O’Dell Isaac (@IketheScribe) July 17, 2022