We are The Shrine of the Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic parish located in historic Mount Washington, in Baltimore City, Maryland.
Our community was established here in 1867, in the wake of the Civil War. In those days Mount Washington was a summer community of large Victorian homes reached by train from the distant city. Now we are within the city, but our community has retained its Victorian charm and country feel. Our "new" parish church, opened in 1917 and consecrated by James Cardinal Gibbons, remains one of the most beautiful churches of its style.
But the greatest beauty of our church is the community which gathers within its walls. We are a multicultural parish, welcoming families from all over the world. We are blessed to have families who have been members here for several generations and who can tell the stories of this parish and neighborhood. We also are greatly blessed by the presence of many graduate students who come from around the world to study in Baltimore. We are young and old, affluent and student-poor. We are European, African, South American and Asian. And we are all united by our faith in Jesus and our communion in the Roman Catholic Church.
Please join us in person when you are in Mount Washington!
Rev. William A. Au, Ph. D., Pastor
The Shrine of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic community for whom relationship with God is most important. In this relationship, we find the meaning and purpose of life. We find God in the living out of our daily lives in love and service to others, in works of justice, in prayer and reflection, in the reading of Sacred Scripture and in a special way through celebrating the sacraments.
The Shrine of the Sacred Heart is a community of people assembled by God whose members share the very life of Christ. We strive to achieve the unity Christ bestowed on His Church by welcoming all people. The Church must pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect this unity. We believe that all people are called to holiness. All are united by spiritual bonds. In our welcoming Church, every vocation is worthy of honor. Every gift is given for the good of all. All are called to build up the Body of Christ. All share in the dignity of being Christian.
We believe that all people are called to holiness. All are united by spiritual bonds. In our welcoming Church, every vocation is worthy of honor. Every gift is given for the good of all. All are called to build up the Body of Christ. All share in the dignity of being Christian.
Our faith is a personal response to God's initiative. This faith leads us through darkness into the light of God. Faith is not an isolated act; no one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone. Every believer has received faith from God and others, and should be ready to share it with others. Each believer is a link in the great chain of believers.
We believe that the wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water. There, Christ comes to meet every individual. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts, that we may thirst for him.
As the community of Jesus, we grasp that sin is the abuse of freedom given us by God. With this knowledge, we become capable of moral choices that reflect our love of God and one another. We believe that through an informed conscience, we discover a God-given law that we are moved to obey. This voice, ever calling us to love, to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in our hearts and awaits our response.
We are committed to catechesis as a means of seeking to understand the meaning of Christ's actions, words and signs. The goal of our teaching is for our people to experience communion with Jesus Christ.
Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children in faith. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a Christ-centered home where loving tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and unselfish service are the rule. The parish provides resources and support to parents and children to reach our goal of helping young people mature in their knowledge of Jesus and the practice of their faith.
In teaching our young people the specifics of morality, the Shrine of the Sacred Heart affirms our Church's teachings and traditions in light of the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and Christ's discourse at the Last Supper.
Through love and service to others, in prayer and reflection, in taking to heart Sacred Scripture and celebrating the Eucharist, we believe that we become more like Christ. But this realization, this gift, is not for ourselves alone. In its being realized, the life and transformation in us seeks to be shared with others. Thus it is that the disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it. That is our commitment as a Roman Catholic Community. We must be instruments of love, justice and peace in our world.
Through love and service to others, in prayer and reflection, in taking to heart Sacred Scripture and celebrating the Eucharist, we believe that we become more like Christ... Thus it is that the disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it... We must be instruments of love, justice and peace in our world.