Saint Joseph, Mount Oliver

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Additional Information:

Open Date:

1870

Close Date:

1994

This parish is presently located at:

Ethnicity:

German

Neighborhoods Served:

Mount Oliver

Parish History

St. Joseph was founded in 1870 as a German ethnic parish.  The parish was the outgrowth of population increases in the Mt. Oliver area.  Plans for the church began before the Civil War when a plot of land was purchased in Mt. Oliver for a church building.  Due to the war and the limited means of the Catholic population of the area, no further action was taken until 1868.  On October 4, 1868, the cornerstone for the church was laid and on November 20, 1870, the church was dedicated.  In that year, the parish of St. Joseph was established.

The church was renovated in 1895 and again in 1930.  On February 15, 1951, a fire destroyed the church.  Work on a new church began afterwards and the current church was dedicated in June 1953.  As the years went on, the population of the area began to drop.  By 1990, it became obvious that the congregations of the area churches had become too small to support the number of churches in existence.  In 1994, St. Joseph merged with three other parishes and the new St. John Vianney parish was created.  

At first the church remained open and served the new parish.  As time went by, however, the population of the area continued to decline.  In 2004, St. John Vianney parish initiated a pastoral planning committee to study whether the parish needed to keep all its churches open.  The committee recommended that the parish only keep one church open.  St. Joseph was one of the churches identified for closing.  The final Mass of the church was celebrated on August 14, 2005.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

St. Joseph Church, 1921
Interior of St. Joseph, 1921
Aftermath of the fire, 1951
St. Joseph Church, 1970

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