Mission of the Sacred Heart

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Mission of the Sacred Heart (1842-1877) - A Catholic mission established in 1842 by Jesuit Father Nicolas Point on the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Named Mission of the Sacred Heart. Also known as Cataldo Mission.

Sacred Heart Mission Church.


Established in 1842 as a Catholic Mission to the Coeur d'Alene Indians. Jesuit Father Nicolas Point conducted the first service on 2 Dec 1842 on the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene. He first established the mission at the winter camp of the Coeur d'Alene Indians where the Spokane River flows out of the lake and later moved it to their spring camp by the St. Joseph River. The riverside location was prone to flooding so the mission was moved in 1846 to a new site just west of modern day Cataldo.

The new mission was named Mission of the Sacred Heart and initially consisted of a temporary chapel and three log cabins. A large permanent church was designed in 1848 and completed in 1855. Mission Buildings included a large barn, a flour mill, a dairy, and two hundred acres of cultivated farmland.

Anthony Ravalli, a Jesuit missionary from Ferrara, Italy, oversaw the construction of a new spectacular church overlooking the Coeur d'Alene Valley with skilled Coeur d'Alene craftsmen. Ravalli used Italian designs that reflected then popular styles in Italy. His church is now the oldest surviving structure in Idaho and is still a very imposing structure

In 1877, a new location for the Coeur d'Alene Mission of the Sacred Heart was developed farther west, inside the Coeur d'Alene Reservation at Desmet.

Current Status

Must See! Part of the Old Mission Idaho Sate Park in Kootenai County, Idaho. A pilgrimage by the Coeur d'Alenes to the old mission church and religious services are still conducted each August 15, on the Feast of the Assumption.

Location: Near Cataldo, Kootenai County, Idaho.

Maps & Images

Lat: 47.54863 Long: -116.35824

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Elevation: 2,142'



Visited: 17 May 2010

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