This church began as a mission in the 1880s to serve Catholics in the Abilene area. Early members included Abilene pioneer Theo. Heyck and City Marshal J.J. Clinton. Priests came by train from Weatherford to conduct worship services, first in private homes and later in public buildings.Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1990
The Bishop of Dallas designated Sacred Heart, a parish in 1891, with the Rev. Henry D. Brickley as first pastor. Property at the corner of North 5th and Beech streets was acquired in 1888 and a frame church was built there in 1892. Early pastors also visited Catholics in outlying communities, and the parish served as the "mother church" for Catholicism in the Abilene vicinity. A parish school, St. Joseph's Academy, opened at South 9th and Meander streets in 1916.
During the pastorate of the Rev. Henry Knufer, property at this site was acquired in 1926, and plans were made to build a larger church for the growing congregation. Designed by noted San Antonio architect Leo M.J. Dielmann, this structure was completed in April 1931. Built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, the building exhibits Moorish style elements and is the least altered and best preserved pre-1940s religious structure in Abilene.