St. JOSEPH CHURCH in ST. JOSEPH

P1160770There was a Catholic church in the village of St. Joseph as early as 1740. It consisted of walls “plastered with mud ”, a roof “thatched with straw” and flooring “with boards”.
Fr. DeLort built a new church at St. Joseph, a cruciform building in stone, which was blessed, together with a church bell, on July 9th, 1846.
Father Lorgeau enlarged the small St. Joseph church, which have become altogether insufficient to accommodate the ever-increasing population in 1874.
The façade, built in 1846 by Fr. De Lort, was pulled down; pillars and arches were built inside the old church and the two side-chapels extended. In March 1875 Bishop R.C.M. Poirier, 3rd Bishop of Roseau (1858 – 1878) went to St. Joseph in order to close the ceremonies held in honour of St. Joseph, and to bless a new statue of the Patron Saint of the parish.
Fr. Louis N. Martineau tried to complete the church by building a new façade and finishing the two wings. The first stone of the façade was solemnly blessed on November 20, 1884 by Bishop Michael Naughten, 4th Bishop of Roseau (1880- 1900).

In June 1891 Fr. Theodore Gerbier FMI finished the front of the church and the side aisles. He also put new galvanized roof sheets on the whole church and imported a “fine high altar made of steel”.
Redemptorist Fr. Alfred Stainforth was appointed parish priest in 1916. He installed a stone floor in the church, built a new set of pews and put up a communion rail. A few years later, he built a side chapel with a large baptistery underneath, and erected the beautiful tower, “which will remain for generations the pride of the parishioners of St Joseph”.
Fr. Felix Boghaert, another Belgian Redemptorist, started, after the destruction caused by a hurricane in 1930, to enlargen the parish church as the church attendance and population of St. Joseph was growing
Fr. Vanty Auguiste C.Ss.R, parish priest from the August of 1999 to July of 2005, renovated the entire church : floor and tiling, columns, sanctuary and sacristy, new altar . The old timber roof and ceiling was replaced by a new steel roof and ceiling. The electrical installation was updated . New doors and windows were installed and the church got a complete face lift by painting and decorating.

Fr. Michael Houston C.SsR installed the St. Gerard’s window and obtained the authentic icon.

WHEN VISITING this church pay attention to :
 the authentic ICON of OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP
 the image of St. Joseph with infant Jesus.
 The stained glass windows of St.Gerard Majella C,Ss.R.
 The murals depicting the 12 apostles
 The shrine to DIVINE MERCY

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