In 1966, the land that our school is built on was donated to the Board of Public Instruction of Pasco County by Joe and Martha Nathe. Joe and Martha had such love and concern for children that they wanted the school to remain here for the children of our community. The school building eventually became Sacred Heart Early Childhood Center in 1984 and over time, became our Extended Care building until 2013 when our new building was built. The building served many purposes for our parish family until its demolition in 2017.
In 1981 when San Antonio Elementary was built and the school board no longer needed the property, the land was deeded back to Martha Nathe, who in turn sold it to the Diocese of St. Petersburg so that Joe’s wishes could continue to be carried out.
Joe and Martha Nathe are the Grandparents of Laura Hill who has worked for our Center since 1990 and still remains in our employ. Many of their grandchildren have attended our Center over the years and some are still attending. We hope that Joe and Martha Nathe are looking down from heaven happy that their land continues to be a safe place for children.
On October 15, 1984, Sacred Heart Early Childhood Center (SHECC) opened its doors with only 7 children. When SHECC was founded, our Pastor, Father Paul Romfh and original Board of Directors had decided that it would open its doors to the entire community, expanding on the idea that Catholic, meaning “universal” would include all. Father Paul was a champion of our cause for many years and could envision the good that would come from this venture.
Our Center was given one year to become financially self supporting. Through hard work and careful planning we managed to make it. Our Center today remains self supporting.
Decisions in the beginning formed our Center into an ideal place for children to grow and learn. Over the years, we have continued to serve the entire community, and are very proud to have provided quality child care to thousands of children.
Our Center serves children ranging from 6 weeks to 12 years of age. We believe that providing such a wide range allows us to meet the needs of the entire family. Today, we are proud to be caring for a second generation of children. We could not have started our Center without the support of our parish family and community. They helped us build our buildings, make repairs, and supported our many yard sales, bar-b-ques, fish fries, basket fund raisers and many other fund raisers that were necessary to make ends meet.
There is one very special person that has had unrelenting support and love for us – Francis Peloquin. For twenty (20) years he gave in every possible way, but most importantly, from the heart. He will forever be our very own “St. Francis”. We also thank all of the supporters of our Center and invite others to take a look at what we’ve accomplished and continue to achieve.