During the third quarter of the 19th century, the first Mass ever celebrated in the Cote Gelee area was conducted in Valsin Broussard’s mercantile store. A priest from Youngsville would travel to Broussard to celebrate Mass. In 1870, Valsin donated the building in order to serve as a church building. After repeated petitions to the Archbishop of New Orleans, the new church parish of Sacred Heart was established on January 9, 1883. A small chapel was constructed and Rev. Christopher Cuny was assigned as the first resident priest of Broussard. Father Cuny had been there almost two years when during the night of November 17, 1886, a tragic fire destroyed the church and presbytery and the unpopular Father Cuny left.
In an effort to maintain the church in Broussard, the leaders of the area immediately began the construction of another building for a church. However, this project was not completed due to the lack of a priest. For 22 years, the parish was more or less dormant as no priest was available for Broussard. During this period, people traveled to Youngsville, Lafayette, and St. Martinville for church services. Finally in 1901, the pastor of the Youngsville church, Father Roguet, began traveling to Broussard for Sunday Mass and sometimes weekday Mass. Under his direction, the church was completed.
On October 15, 1904, Rev. Arthur Drossaerts (originally from Holland), assumed the duties of resident pastor – the answer to many petitions and prayers. As a living, vibrant parish, Sacred Heart really advanced – the rectory was built, the modest chapel was enlarged and beautified, and Saint Cecilia School was established in 1909.
Father Drossaerts served until January 16, 1911, when he left to become Archbishop of San Antonio. Rev. Louis Castel then assumed the duties of pastor and served until July 14, 1919. At that time, Rev. M. Massebiau took over as pastor and served until July 18, 1933, when Rev. P.G.J.
Kemps assumed duties as pastor. To aid the financial difficulties that emerged due to the Great Depression, Father Kemps assisted in implementing a church fair that had been originated during the 1920’s. Subsequently, during Father Kemps tenure the church progressed to the present beautiful church built in 1954.
Through more than 100 years, Sacred Heart Church has steadily grown and prospered. There were setbacks and disappointments, but eventually growth and progress. It presently serves over 2,600 families in the ever growing community of Broussard.