Sacred Heart Parish had its official beginning on June 21, 1912, when the parish was incorporated. Its real start came when Rev. John B. Gallo came to Newburgh to minister to the spiritual needs of the Italian-speaking people who had been attending Mass at St. Patrick’s Church. In April of 1912 land was purchased on the southeast corner of Robinson Avenue and Ann Street. A temporary chapel situated in a vacant store at 286 Washington Street was used until the church was completed. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1913, the first Mass was celebrated in the new church. In 1920 Father Gallo purchased land opposite the church with the intention of erecting a parochial school.
Rev. Cyrus Falco was the pastor who guided the parish through the trying years of the Great Depression. In 1933 he invited the Sisters of St. Dominic to take charge of our parish Sunday School.
Rev. John B. Caldarola was our pastor during World War II. He inaugurated the Parish Bulletin which was instrumental in keeping up the morale of both those at home and in their country’s service. During the summer of 1945 our returning veterans formed the Sacred Heart Post No. 386 of the Catholic War Veterans. Plans for a parish school were begun and a fundraising drive was started. However, wartime material shortages prevented the start of construction.
When Rev. Salvatore Celauro became pastor in 1947 he planned for a school by purchasing land adjacent to the original school property in order to build a one-story structure. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 23, 1950 and school opened on September 9, 1951. In the mid-1950’s Msgr. Celauro decided that a new church was needed when it became clear that it would be too expensive to repair the old church. Fundraising began in 1959, but with increasing construction costs, it was not until May 12, 1963 that the work on the new church and rectory began. The cornerstone was laid on December 6, 1964 and the first Mass in the new church was said on Christmas Eve, 1964.
In September of 1967 Rev. Salvatore Cantatore was named pastor of Sacred Heart. He had a great concern for the youth of the parish and on October 29, 1978, The Sacred Heart Parish Center was opened to provide a place where wholesome, physical activity could be encouraged under the guidance of dedicated men and women.
Msgr. George J. Valastro came to Sacred Heart as pastor in 1981. Msgr. Valastro led the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the parish which culminated with Mass on Friday, June 26, 1987, the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Msgr. Valastro purchased the building at 319 Broadway which became the Activity Center for bingo games and meetings.