Saint Joseph, Bloomfield

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Parish History

St. Joseph was founded in 1872 as a German parish.  The origin of the parish can be traced to a meeting of  local German Catholics on November 26, 1866, for the purpose of organizing a parish.  The outcome of the meeting was a decision to begin raising funds for a combined church and school.  Before the year was out, land was purchased for the building.  Work began on a two story building the next year.  The first floor was planned for a school and the second floor for a church.  The first floor was completed and the school opened in January of 1868.  However, the local Catholics continued to travel to St. Augustine for Mass.  Two years later, the upper story was completed and the first Mass was celebrated on May 22, 1870, by the pastor of St. Augustine. 

The second floor facilities for the church soon proved inadequate, so in 1872 the building was enlarged.  A sanctuary and sacristy were added to the building and the lower floor became the church and the upper floor the school.  On November 3, 1872, the new church was dedicated and a resident pastor assigned to the parish.

The church served the parish for over a decade.  However, by 1885 it became obvious that a new, larger church was needed.  On December 12, 1885, additional land was purchased and construction soon began.  The cornerstone was laid on May 16, 1886, and the completed church was dedicated on May 1, 1887.

In December of 1942, a fire severely damaged the interior of the church.  While the church was being repaired, services were held in the school hall.  As part of the renovation, the tops of the towers were removed.  Additional renovations to the church were made in the1960's. 

In 1993, the shortage of priests in the diocese required St. Joseph to share a pastor and parochial vicar with Immaculate Conception, Bloomfield.  However, the two parishes remained independent.  This arrangement lasted until 2001 when the parishioners voted to merge the two parishes.  The new parish was named Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph.  St. Joseph church remains open and serves the new parish.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

St. Joseph, 1934
Main altar, 1934
St. Joseph, 2001

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