Bishop Carl A. Kemme consecrated the altar and dedicated the third church in Cunningham named in honor of the Sacred Heart on Saturday, Oct. 7.
The first church was dedicated in 1908. Its replacement in 1934. The newly-dedicated church is the culmination of four years of dreaming, planning, and building.
Following the appointment of Father Curtis Robertson in 2012, the parish undertook some much-needed renovation to correct issues in the gymnasium, restrooms, and classrooms in the old Sacred Heart School.
The gymnasium and kitchen of the school were being used as a parish hall. The improvements, completed in 2014, helped form a vision that the large gymnasium/kitchen area could be remodeled into a new place of worship. Father Robertson and the parish contracted with a builder and an architect for the designing and planning of the new church inside of a building that in 1952 originally opened as a school.
The school had been built by Sacred Heart parishioners with only the exterior brick laid with non-parish labor. The 2017 renovation was a partnership of the time, talent, and resources of parishioners and non-parishioners, along with the expertise of the Law Company and LK Architecture of Wichita.
In June, before the renovation was completed, Father Roger Lumbre was assigned as pastor. Father Lumbre continued to give the parish support and guidance through the renovation’s final stages. After many years of planning and working for this vision, the extensive interior renovation includes the sanctuary, gathering area, sacristy, confessional, classrooms, and restrooms. Father Lumbre oversaw the exterior renovation, which included redesign of the church’s exterior, north and south parking lots, and new sidewalks.