In May of 1976, Bishop Glennon P. Flavin announced the establishment of the new parish community of St. Joseph. The Reverend Thomas L. Holoman was appointed the first pastor. Father Holoman, hardworking and energetic, was ready to lead. Through the generous help of our parishioners, a house located on Trendwood Drive was purchased and converted into our first parish rectory.
The parish's first Mass was celebrated on June 6, 1976, in the gymnasium at Pius X High School. This was only a temporary solution until July 1976, when plans to celebrate Mass at East Public High School were finalized. Masses continued at East High School until the addition was completed at Pius X High School. Once the new Pius X Learning-Performing Arts Center was completed in November 1977, Mass was celebrated there until the completion of the first church at the current location. Although St. Joseph's was without a facility for almost three years, as many as 70 people would gather with Father Holoman to celebrate daily Mass in the homes of devoted parishioners.
Father Holoman took it upon himself to make a personal visit to each family of the parish encouraging the stewardship program as a means of acquiring the funds necessary to construct a church. At the same time, he was determined to build a strong spiritual community. He instituted bible studies, a liturgy planning committee, the parish picnic, Holiday Fair, an organ and guitar choir, the Godparent Program and other activities long before the church building was completed. The parishioners sponsored a home program for CCD classes and a Sunday school program for preschoolers. These early organizations have evolved over the years as the needs of the parish have expanded and changed. St. Joseph has a noble tradition of service that is the backbone of our faith.
Within three years, the parish had purchased almost 12 acres of land on Trendwood Drive to construct a school and church. On the Feast of St. Joseph 1978, the patron feast of the parish, Father Holoman and members of the parish celebrated the ground-breaking ceremonies for the new facilities. Included in this building project was a church with a seating capacity of 600, a meeting hall, an educational wing with nine classrooms, a library and administrative offices.
In 1979, the dedication of the new school and church were held and the school officially opened in August 1979, with 63 students in kindergarten through fourth grade. Three Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters from Immaculata, Pennsylvania, an order that specializes in education, were the first administrators and teachers. A grade was added each year thereafter for the next four years. Due to the increase in the number of students each year, ten more classrooms were subsequently added, along with a hardwood floor gymnasium. Additional classrooms were added later along with a music/band room.
In 1991, Father Holoman was honored with the title of Monsignor. He continued to serve the needs of the parish until June 1995, when Bishop Bruskewitz appointed Monsignor Myron Pleskac to become pastor of St. Joseph Church.
As the parish continued to grow, the need for a larger church became apparent. The building committee decided in 1998, that a new church should be constructed. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated on Christmas Eve 2000 and the building was dedicated on January 21, 2001. The original church was renovated to become a social hall, school library, kitchen, music room, computer room and school offices.
In 2003 Father Liam Barr was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Church. In 2007, Father Barr was honored with the title of Monsignor. Monsignor Barr’s mission has been to promote stewardship as a way of life, thus fulfilling the parish mission statement: “To Live as Disciples of Jesus.”
Presently, the school is staffed by a diocesan community of sisters, the School Sisters of Christ the King, along with more than 30 full and part time teachers, plus a large staff of supportive personnel to serve the needs of over 520 students. We are blessed to have approximately 1500 families in the parish today.