Sacred Heart Church in Tampa Florida
Sacred Heart Catholic Church was constructed in 1905 in downtown Tampa, Florida and is one of the oldest churches in the city of Tampa. The church, located at 509 N. Florida Avenue, is predominantly a Romanesque structure, with other elements. The church is home to Sacred Heart Parish, part of the West Hillsborough Deanery of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Petersburg. The first Catholic parish on Florida's West Coast was established in 1860 and named St. Louis Parish in honor of Fr. Luis de Cancer, a Dominican missionary who was martyred on the shores of Tampa Bay in 1549. The initial wooden-frame building called St. Louis Church was erected on the site where Sacred Heart stands today. In 1888 the Jesuits took over the pastoral responsibilities of the parish, after a serious outbreak of yellow fever in Tampa took the lives of three diocesan priests. Using Tampa as their base, the Jesuits were given the responsibility of all of South Florida by Bishop Moore. In 1905, a new Church was constructed in Romanesque style and the parish was renamed Sacred Heart.