Father William J. Dillon, our first pastor, was one of these brave and dedicated priests.
came to the Sandhills in 1911, serving: Fayetteville, Southern Pines, Sanford, Hamlet, Laurinburg, Rockingham, Wadesboro, Monroe, Hope Mills, Ohio and Gibson - an area of about 1,550 square miles.
Sacred Heart Church
began as a mission of St. Anthony of Padua in Southern Pines, serving the seasonal needs of the Irish Catholic employees of the Carolina Hotel.
These maids, servants and chauffeurs would work and worship here in the fall and spring and move to the New England hotels for the summer months.
With the help of many non-Catholic residents, visitors and parishioners, Father Dillon
raised funds to build our Old English Gothic style church.
laid the cornerstone in 1919.
The beautiful stained glass windows, noted for the detail and brilliant colors, were donated in the early twenties and now adorn this new church.
In 1927, the rectory was built as a "Clergy Rest House" to accommodate priests from all over the country who came to Pinehurst
for a vacation.
Among the distinguished priests to visit were Archbishop Fulton Sheen and several Roman Curia dignitaries.
In 1948 the dwelling that became the Maryhurst Retreat House, and later, the Parish Center
, was donated to the Dioceses.
The old church served Parish needs well for over seventy years.
was originally buried beside the old church, but has since been exhumed and buried in the cemetery of Our Lady of Guadeloupe in Newton Grove, NC.
Many changes took place in the 1970s.
Retirees were joined by families and younger people attracted by the employment opportunities.
Monsignor John A. Brown, who followed Father Dillon
as Pastor (1942-1959) and again (1970-1975), witnessed the beginning of this growth in the parish.