FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Contact: Patricia M. Chivers
First Basilica in Georgia Named by Vatican
ATLANTA—Sacred Heart Church in downtown Atlanta has been designated by the Vatican with the honor of becoming the first Catholic basilica in Georgia. A Mass of elevation, with Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory presiding, will take place on August 21 at 10:00 a.m. in combination with the 130th anniversary of the founding of the parish located at 353 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta.
Father T.J. Meehan, Pastor, said “When our church was built in 1898, no sacrifice was too great and no effort was spared to make sure that this remarkably beautiful sanctuary would continue to honor God and inspire generations of worshippers.” The parish has grown from 700 to 1,300 households in the last five years.
The parish was founded in 1880 and was originally known as Sts. Peter and Paul. When the French Romanesque church designed by architect W.T. Downing was dedicated in 1898, the parish was renamed in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Marist Fathers at that time cared for the parish, which included all of North Atlanta and 9,500 square miles of mission territory in North Georgia.
The word basilica comes from the Greek term for “royal hall.” There are two kinds of basilicas: major basilicas, the great Roman churches, and the minor basilicas, which are important churches in Rome and abroad which the Holy Father has honored with this title. Sacred Heart of Jesus Basilica is the only Catholic Church in Georgia to be given the honor of being a minor basilica.
Media is invited to attend the Mass of elevation. For more information, contact Pat Chivers at email@example.com or 678-480-6865.
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