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  early churches of New Jersey

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Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church

Elizabeth, Union County
Route 1-9
founded 1852, built 1890

Sacred Heart

In 1852, about 25 German Catholic families in Elizabeth resolved to form their own parish. After worshiping in a rented room, the parishioners launched an intensive fund-raising campaign. A plot of land on Smith Street, near Elizabeth Avenue, was purchased in 1853. A small, simple wooden church was the first permanent home of the fledgling parish—the first German Catholic parish in Union County.
This is a traditional Gothic building erected for a large urban congregation. It has a long nave with an apse, transepts, and ample room for sacristy. The tower is offset to the right and the front elevation includes standard Catholic iconography. Pinnacles with crosses can be found on all the gables and corners.
The church was renamed Our Lady of Fatima in the 1980s in recognition of the large Portuguese community in the area.