Sacred Heart - Conroe embraces spirit of communion
February 24, 2015
CONROE — Sacred Heart Church in Conroe was formed nearly 100 years ago as a mission between Plantersville and New Waverly. Now serving serving a population of more than 50 percent Hispanic and 41 percent Caucasian, as well as small percentages of African-American and Asian-American parishioners, the parish community has grown in this thriving suburb north of Houston. One thing has been constant and that is Sacred Heart’s mission to grow in faith and serve the community.
In 2014, Church leaders embarked on their parish action plan with a desire to include Daniel Cardinal DiNardo’s call to create a spirituality of communion within the parish and surrounding community. Of the nine objectives Cardinal DiNardo outlined, the Sacred Heart community was particularly drawn to Evangelization Outreach.
“The Evangelization Outreach is a response to Pope Francis’ call for new and Mass evangelization,” said Father Philip Wilhite, pastor at Sacred Heart. “Sacred Heart saw the need to not only reach out to our active parishioners to grow stronger in our faith and to share it with our brothers and sisters who are less enthusiastic, but to also bring back those who have strayed away from their faith.”
Father Wilhite went on to say that he believes Catholics live the spirituality of communion more as they share our faith.
Sacred Heart Church offers several different ministries with the main objective of evangelization. The Arise Together in Christ movement starting in the fall of 2014 along with Live Christ Share Christ seminars. Parishioners are reaching out to Spanish-speaking Catholics through neighborhood visits and retreats such as the Ministries of Misioneros de Sagrado Corazon and Espiritu Santo.
On Sept. 20, 2014, Faith Fest, organized by Sacred Heart Church in partnership with churches of different denominations in north Houston, was held to promote friendship and unity in Christian faith.
“We are all brothers and sisters in Christ so we need to come together in Christ,” Father Wilhite said. “We need to come together in love and unity and to resist the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy. We need to be one in Christ because we are one in Christ.”
Sacred Heart is also particularly proud of its vibrant youth ministry. This action plan addresses Cardinal DiNardo’s objective regarding youth with very strong CCE programs for children to sixth grade, EDGE for junior high and Life Teen for high school.
Father Wilhite is pleased with the “active participation” from Sacred Heart’s youngsters and teenagers and cannot underscore the benefit these programs offer by keeping the parish’s young minds engaged in and excited about their faith while creating the “next generation” of Catholics to serve and share the message of Christ throughout the world.
Not only does the parish continue to see its ministries grow, it also sees the faithful grow to an astonishing 7,500 families from Conroe, Montgomery, Willis and Cut-n-Shoot. The parish recently began phase two of “God’s Love, Our Mission” capital campaign to build a new church to accomodate the increased growth in the area and renovate several older facilities.
The parish office moved across the street, and a new church building will rise facing FM 2854 and North Frazier Street, looking towards Downtown Conroe and adjacent to what will be the old sanctuary, which was designed to hold 750 people.
“In January, we (the Catholic Church) celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord. Jesus showed his love and solidarity with us,” said Father Joseph Manapuram, parochial vicar at Sacred Heart. “We are put on this earth to love God, love our neighbors and create disciples.”
The Sacred Heart community continues to be an example of opening hearts and doors to a city it has served for nearly 100 years.
For more about Sacred Heart, visit www.shconroe.org or call the Parish Office at 936-756-8186.