Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church was established in 1874 by Father John Kress to serve the English speaking Catholic people of Reading, Lockland, Wyoming and Sharonville. Until that time they had attended SS. Peter and Paul Church, which was considered a German national parish.
The cornerstone was laid on August 15, 1874 by Bishop Edward Fitzgerald of Little Rock, with all the appropriate ceremony. This first church, located on Market Street, was built for $8,000.
Because many of the original parishioners were Irish immigrants or their descendants, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart became known as the “Irish Church”.
A one-room school was built in 1876. There were approximately 20 pupils in the first group to attend Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, taught by the Sisters of Notre Dame.
In 1892 there were 50 families in the parish. In that same year the church was renovated and a parish house built to accommodate the pastors, who up to that time had lived with the parishioners.
A new school was built in 1907 with an enrollments of 65 students. In 1956 a new church and school building was completed on Columbia Avenue. The new structure cost $380,000 and brought the number of classrooms to ten with an enrollment of 400. The church provided seating for 450.
As the church community continues to grow it was necessary to build once again and in 1962 a new church and school was constructed at the present site. The school contained 24 classrooms and a student body of 799. In May, 1963 the church and school building was dedicated by Archbishop Karl J. Alter.
A convent for the Sisters teaching at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was completed in 1966. In 1984 the decision was made to renovate the existing church rather than build a new structure.
On March 7, 1998 a new, $1.1 million dollar, 12,130 sq. ft. multi-purpose building that includes a large gym, stage, meeting rooms and a kitchen, was dedicated.
Since Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was established in 1874, a period of 140+ years, 19 pastors have served this church. Fr. James McCloskey served the longest – 39 years at the turn of the 20th century.