On September 25, 1869, Yavapai County became part of the Vicariate Apostolic of Arizona with Bishop John Baptiste Salpointe appointed as the Vicar Apoostolic. The first Mass celebrated in Prescott was at Ravenna’s store on the corner of Goodwin and Montezuma on January 22, 1871. Bp John Baptiste Salpointe established what continues to be the only Catholic Parish in Prescott, Arizona. Rev Michael Murphy arrived as the first pastor on October 26, 1877 but died of consumption on December 7 and was buried in the Citizens Cemetery. A succession of pastors served for a short period of time; including one Fr. F. C. Becker, who dedicated a chapel to to the Scared Heart of Jesus and said Mass there for the Catholics of the town. It was from that moment on, that Sacred Heart became the parish name.
Three Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet; Mother John Berchman Hartrich, Sr. Mary Martha Dunne, and Sr. Rose Doran, opened St. Joseph’s Hospital. on September 6, 1878, for their employees and miners in a small frame house on the corner of Alarcon and Willis Streets. Until then civilians with serious illnesses or injuries had been admitted to the “hospital” at Whipple Barracks. Classes were held for Catholic children of the town in a back room of the building called Little Pioneer School of the West, and by late 1880, the sisters had as many as 40 students and were in need of a larger building. Mother Monica Corrigan, who had replaced Mother John Berchmans on October 1, 1879, purchased a building and grounds on Marina Street. She also purchased additional lots to create a first-class hospital. However, Bp. Peter Bourgade, the new Vicar of Arizona Apostolic, thought that a small number of patients did not warrant a staff of four sisters and that the building was better suited to a much needed school. So in order to comply with Bp. Bourgade’s request, St. Joseph’s Hospital was converted into a school and became known as St. Joseph’s Academy.