On August 19,1957, Reverend George J. Mulcahey was officially appointed pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish. In October, a twenty-four acre turkey farm and home on Dundee Road were purchased to become the future site of the new church and school. The two story stone house first served as the rectory, then as a residence for staff members and guests. Father Mulcahey quickly began his practice of visiting his new parishioners in their homes, establishing bonds that remained strong throughout the years.
On October 26, Maurice A. Gougeon and Barbara Ann Dearie, a resident of Prairie View became the first couple to be married in the new parish.
The first Mass celebrated in the new church was the Christmas Midnight Mass on December 24, 1958. Parishioners sat in folding chairs as the pews had not yet been installed.
On May 3, 1959, the Rt. Reverend Msgr. Edward M. Burke celebrated the First Communion Mass for eighty children of the parish. That same day, Monsignor Burke presided at the blessing of the cornerstone and the dedication of the statue of St. Joseph the Worker that stands outside the church.
St. Joseph the Worker School opened on September 9, 1959 with an enrollment of 480 students in eight grades. The staff consisted of four Sisters of Mercy, and four lay teachers. The first children to register for the new school were Linda and Patrick Goin. The first principal was Sister Mary Claude, RSM.
On September 20th of that year, Archbishop Albert C. Meyer officially dedicated the new "L" shaped building, which consisted of the church, the parish hall, and the school, designed by architect Joseph L. Bennett.
Before the convent was built behind the rectory in 1964, the Sisters of Mercy made their home in the rooms that were originally intended for the school offices, graciously making the best of a difficult living arrangement. When dances and other events were held in Nazareth Hall, parishioners tried to be very quiet when using the restrooms for fear of awakening the sleeping sisters.
St. Joseph The Worker - Scrapbook
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