Volume 3: Western United States
Idaho: ID-7

Sacred Heart Church
127 Byrnes Avenue
P.O. Box 306
De Smet, ID 83824

Phone: 208-274-5871
Email: See Diocese of Boise website (Parishes)


History: Sacred Heart Church, De Smet, Coeur d’Alene Reservation, Idaho, has been a predominantly Native American (Coeur d’Alene) parish in the Diocese of Boise (Archives: Boise, Idaho).

ca. 1814-1840s

Lay Iroquois Indians from Canada, who were employed by the Northwest Fur Company, intermarried and catechized among the Salish Indians

1831, 1834, 1837, 1841

Four delegations of Salish, Iroquois, and Nez Perce Indians attempted to request Jesuit missionaries from Bishop Joseph Rosati, C.M., in St. Louis whose diocese then apparently included Montana; only the first and fourth delegations reached St. Louis whereas the others were killed by Indians from enemy tribes


In response to the fourth request, Reverend Pierre J. de Smet, S.J., visited the Coeur d’Alene, Kalispel, Kootenai, Nez Perce, Salish, and other tribes throughout the Northwest

1843-1846 (closed)

Rev. Nicholas Point, S.J., established a mission among the Coeur d’Alene Indians

1848-1877 (no longer Native)

Jesuits (Missouri, Turin, California, Oregon Provinces) (Archives: St. Louis, Missouri) established and administered Sacred Heart Mission (Coeur d’Alene), Cataldo


Coeur d’Alene Indians relocated to the Coeur d’Alene Reservation


Jesuits established and administered Sacred Heart Mission, De Smet, Coeur d’Alene Reservation

1878-1974 (closed)

Sisters of Charity of Providence (St. Ignatius, Mother Joseph Provinces) (Archives: Seattle, Washington) established and staffed Providence of Mary Immaculate School (Coeur d’Alene), De Smet   

ca. 1916-1930

Lawrence Nicodemus (1910-2004, Coeur d’Alene), a life-long devout Catholic and member of Sacred Heart parish, attended Sacred Heart School and Gonzaga High School, Spokane, Washington; he became a Columbia University scholar and linguist of the Coeur d’Alene language and a Coeur d’Alene tribal judge


In honor of their ancestors, Coeur d’Alene Indians have visited Sacred Heart Mission and cemetery, Old Mission State Park, Cataldo, annually on the Feast of the Assumption (August 15th)


Fire destroyed Sacred Heart Mission, De Smet, which was rebuilt

Jesuits from Sacred Heart, Cataldo and DeSmet, have attended the following Indian missions:


Spokan Mission (Spokane), Washington


St. Michael Mission (Coeur d’Alene), Worley, Coeur d’Alene Reservation, Idaho


Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (Coeur d’Alene), Plummer, Coeur d’Alene Reservation, Idaho


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans:

Inclusive dates: 1843-ongoing

Volume: Ca. 1.0 cubic foot 

Description: The records at Sacred Heart Mission are not organized according to a classification scheme. Consequently, description is by record type.


/1 Sacramental records

Inclusive dates: 1843-ongoing

Volume: Several volumes

Description: Sacramental records (e.g. baptisms, marriages, burials) for Sacred Heart and its attended Native American missions; copies prior to 1937. 


/2 Coeur d’Alene Indian Hymnal and Song Recordings

Inclusive dates: Unknown

Volume: 2 audiocassettes and book

Description: Catholic worship in English and Coeur d’Alene.


/3 Photographs

Inclusive dates: Unknown

Volume: Several

Description: Prints (copies) of Sacred Heart Mission and Coeur d’Alene Indians; from the Jesuit Oregon Province Archives, now within the Jesuit Archives and Research Center, St. Louis, Missouri.


Unless otherwise noted, the repository on this page holds (or held) the records described here and they are not held at the Marquette University Archives.