Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church

Mildmay’s first Catholic settlers, small in number, were visited by Rev. Caspar Matoga, S.J.: Rev. William Blettner, S.J.; and Rev. George Laufhuber, S.J. periodically from 1853 to 1860.

Apart from the few visits of the early Jesuits, the Catholic pioneers journeyed mostly to Formosa for their spiritual ministrations until 1861.Up to this date, Formosa received more frequent visits form these Jesuits than did Mildmay.  When a log church was constructed in Deemerton in 1861, the Mernersville (Mildmay) Catholics attended there.

Later in 1861, when Rev. Archangelus Gstir, O.S.F., became resident pastor of Formosa, he tended to the spiritual welfare of the Mernersville flock until 1865.  His successor was Rev. J.J. Schmitz, who continued this work until 1866, when Rev. Francis Rassaerts was named in charge of Carlsruhe and looked after this charge from that headquarters.  When Deemerton became an independent parish in 1880, Mildmay was attached as a mission.  Rev. George Brohman was the first pastor at Deemerton.  The first church was erected in 1977, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  At that time, there were only 20 Catholic families in Mildmay.

Father Brohman was transferred to Formosa from Deemerton in 1895, but continued to serve the Mildmay Catholics from that centre. It was under his leadership that the first separate school was established in Mildmay in 1880, the church being used for a school until 1881, when the school building was completed.  Father Brohman built the first Mildmay rectory in 1885, and secured a bell for the church.

Mildmay became a parish in 1895.  For a few years immediately preceding Rev. Joseph Wey pastor of Deemerton at that time, also celebrated Mass at times, substituting for Father Brohman.

The first pastor of Mildmay was Father Michael Halm in 1903, continuing in office until 1915. Construction of the present church was begun in 1912, while Father Lehman was pastor. The cornerstone was laid on July 23, 1912 and it was dedicated to the Sacred Heart, November 23, 1913.

In 1895, while Rev. Clement Brohman was pastor, the former convent was sold and a residence closer to the church was purchased.
Father Halm returned for a two-year term of office until 1917, when Father Alphonsus C. Montag was placed in charge. Father Montag continued as parish priest until 1951, when Rev. William J. Nolan was appointed pastor.

Father J.G. Hoffarth succeeded Father Nolan in 1958 and remained until 1960. The priests who followed are: Rev. W.L Ryan, 1960 – 1965, Rev. V. W. McNamara, 1965 – 1969; Rev. H. J. Schmuck 1969 – 1973; Rev. Wm. Sherlock, 1973 – 1976;  Rev. V.H. Cullaton, 1976 – 1980;  Rev. L.J. Quinlan, June 1980 – February 1982; Rev. D.J. Noon, administrator from February to June 1982, when Rev. John Stapleton was appointed pastor.

Assistant priests at different times in Mildmay’s history were: Rev. J. Lenhard, Rev. J.S. O’Leary, Rev. C. Dube, Rev. Joseph Englert, Rev. Paul J. Meyer, Rev. R. M. Haller, Rev. William Goodrow, Rev. J. V. Walsh, Rev. W. A. Zettel, Rev. J. Halk, and Rev. F. C. Elliot, S.J.

The church was redecorated while Father Ryan was pastor and new heating system was installed during the pastorate of Father Cullaton.  On July 29, 1969, the church was damaged by fire and smoke while Father Schmuck was pastor; this necessitated the redecoration of the interior of the church.

During Father Stapleton’s pastorate, the church steeple was repaired at a cost of $35000.00. Carpet was installed through the benevolence of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Goetz and a donation from the Catholic Women’s League.

Historical Walks Through Carrick and Mildmay
by The Mildmay-Carrick Historical Society, 1989