PALM DESERT, Calif. -

People walked into Sacred Heart Sunday morning eager for a mass to show them the light -- in a church about to change the way it gets illuminated.
"This is the 21st century. We want to do things right. Not only will it help our parish, but it will help our world, in our own little teeny way to help the world," Sacred Heart Church's Father Howard Lincoln said.

Seventy-five percent of Sacred Heart's campus -- all but its preschool -- will be solar powered.

"This is renewable energy, sustainable, the sun. It will always be there. Socially, it's the right thing to do for our environment," Father Lincoln said.
The idea came from a Palm Desert High School that went solar as well.

"Xavier installed it, and we asked the company to come and visit us, and see if it would work for us, if it was economically feasible," Father Lincoln said.

The cost is close to three hundred thousand dollars. With help, the church could do it.

"The parishioners are paying for this. It's part of the money they give, and we try to use it responsibly," Father Lincoln said. "The payback is in about nine and half years, but we think in the long run, it will benefit our pocket book, and we know in the long run it'll benefit the environment."

Church-goers we talked to support the initiative and all it represents.

"I like the fact that we're always looking to improve and grow, and going solar seems like a logical choice here in the desert," Tom Kueeneeman said.

"It entices people to do the same for their homes and to save with electricity, and to go forward with progress in the world today," Loria Murphy said.
Father Lincoln says this is a step in the right direction -- one the whole community needs to take.

"I think it's very important the church sets an example, and I thought this is the right thing to do," Father Lincoln said.

The example will officially be set by the end of July.