Parish History

 A HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH PARISH

  • August 18, 1898 -Ten lots north of Mountain Street and between Root Street and High Street are purchased for the location of a new church and school. 
  • September 28, 1898 - Ground was broken on to begin construction of a two story combination church and school and the parish was placed under the patronage  of St. Joseph.  
  • February 1, 1899 - Father Schmitt received his formal appointment as pastor of St. Joseph Parish.   
  • August 30, 1899 - The cornerstone was laid   
  • October 1, 1899 - The first Mass was celebrated  
  • November of 1899 - St. Joseph School opened with 225 students, staffed by the Sisters of St. Francis from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with Sister Isabella as the first principal   
  • 1902 - A two-story residence was built for the use of the pastor  
  • 1908 - The pastor’s residence became the convent after the rectory was built  
  • February 13, 1906 - Father Edward Berthold was appointed the first assistant.  
  • 1925 - Four additional classrooms were added to the school. The enrollment had now grown to 506 pupils who were taught by a staff of ten sisters.  
  • April 17, 1940 - After forty years of service to St. Joseph Parish, Monsignor John Schmitt died.  
  • May 22, 1940 - Fr. Joseph J. Weitekamp was appointed the new pastor.   
  • November 6, 1949 - The parish celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The parish had grown to 500 families.   
  • October 21, 1955 - The cornerstone of the new church was laid on   
  • March 19, 1956 - The first Mass was celebrated in the new church on the Feast of St. Joseph, with Fr. Weitekamp as celebrant.  
  • May 1, 1957 - The new church was dedicated by Bishop Loras T. Lane on the  Feast of St. Joseph the Worker   
  • January 18, 1962 - A tragic fire in the rectory took the life of the assistant pastor,  Fr. William Staff.   
  • May 19, 1963 - Fr. Weitekamp died after serving the parish for twenty-three years.   
  • June 5, 1963 - Fr. Paul Tuchlinsky was appointed the new pastor   
  • August 15, 1963 - The new school and the new rectory were completed and classes began at the new school in September. 
  • 1976 - Fr. Paul Tuchlinsky retired  
  • Summer 1976 - Fr. Lawrence London was appointed pastor.  There were 800 families in the parish and 300 students in the school with a faculty of 17 made up of both lay and religious teachers.   
  • July 15, 1991 - Fr. Eric Barr was appointed pastor  
  • November 24, 1994 - ground breaking ceremonies were held for the new Parish Center   
  • June 1995 - Demolition of the old building began (the original church and school building).
  • 1995 - Parish Center opened   
  • December 1 1995 - The new St. Joseph Parish Center was dedicated by Bishop Thomas G. Doran.   
  • June 1997 - Fr. Jerome Leake was appointed pastor.   
  • Present-St. Joseph Parish continues to be a vibrant force on Pigeon Hill with over 800 families in the parish and over 160 students at St. Joseph Catholic School