Catholic priests visited the Concho River area in the 17th and 18th centuries, but modern Catholicism began after the founding of Fort Concho in 1867. Father Mathurin J. Pairier (1822?-1888) began visiting here in 1874. He cared for the Catholics of Fort Concho, Ben Ficklin, and Santa Angela. On September 22, 1874, he accepted donation of this land, known as "The Catholic Block," from San Angelo promoter Bart J. DeWitt.
After the county seat moved to San Angelo in 1882, Father Pairier began plans for a church building here. Completed in 1884, the year Pairer became resident pastor, the stone edifice was the first church building in San Angelo. Known as Immaculate Conception, the parish included Mexican, English, Irish, and German Catholics. In 1888, Father John Sheehan, the second pastor, welcomed the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio, who started a Catholic school.
A portion of the block was sold in 1906 when a new church building was constructed under Father Joseph Hoban. This church became known as Sacred Heart.
In 1961 Pope John XXIII established the Diocese of San Angelo with Sacred Heart as the Cathedral Church. It is the mother church for many Catholic parishes in West Texas.