Devout And Developed: 30-Year Debate Over Phoenix Sacred Heart Church Ends

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 9:07am
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 9:23am
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Phoenix opens the old Sacred Heart Church once a year for Christmas mass.

Thirty years after a historic church in South Phoenix closed due to eminent domain, the Sacred Heart Church near 16th Street and Buckeye Road will reopen. 

The Phoenix City Council approved a deal Wednesday between the Diocese of Phoenix and nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa to preserve the church and develop the 28 acres around the property.

Nic Smith, vice president of Real Estate Development for Chicanos Por La Causa, told KJZZ’s The Show the surrounding community has been a passionate, and loud voice, throughout the years of debate.

“We ourselves have a pretty good pulse on the history and so our intent is to, over time, develop a retail corner that will sort of respond to some of the  things we’ve heard from our community meetings with the neighbors," he said. 

The Sacred Heart Church used to only open on Christmas Day, but it will now be re-consecrated said Rev. Paul Sullivan. 

"It is our great hope that this historic church will be a point of unity and pride, and the heartbeat of the community," Sullivan said.

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