Our Parish Story . . .
-- ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH --
(1927 - Present)
(St. Joseph Church has grown from a mission of approximately thirty families a firmly established
parish of more than 630 families.)
* On June 21, 1927, Father Leo Mondt was assigned to St. Joseph.
* Sunday, June 26, 1927, the first Mass was celebrated.
* Sunday, September 4, 1927, the laying of the cornerstone took place.
* December 11, 1927, the dedication of the church was held.
* The first baby baptized in this church was John DeLeonardo.
* The First Communion Class of February 5, 1928 numbered approximately thirty children.
* On June 22, 1930, the first Confirmation took place.
* On October 21, 1940, Bishop Henry Althoff elevated St. Joseph's from the status of a mission to that of a parish.
* Father Paul Holthaus was appointed the first resident pastor.
* He was succeeded by Father Bernard P. Mongan, who served the parish of approximately 420 Catholics.
In 1959, Father Mongan was transferred.
* Father Donald Lenzini served as administrator of the parish from January to June in 1960.
* Bishop Zuroweste assigned the Trinitarian Fathers to St. Joseph Parish.
* In June, 1960, Father Aloysius Sylvester, O.SS.T., became the first Trinitarian Father to become pastor.
* On Sunday, December 15, 1963, the eight-year-old children received their First Holy Communion
marking the first parish function in the new church.
* On April 26, 1964, Bishop Albert Zuroweste celebrated the first Confirmation in the new church.
* When Father John Cedilot arrived in Marion, he was enthusiastic about fulfilling the task of providing a new place of worship for the parishioners. After Father Cedilot’s death, Father Marc Toal, O.SS.T., was appointed administrator.
* On May 13, 1967, Fr. Stephen James Humphrey, a member of St. Joseph Parish since his elementary school years, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Zuroweste. His has been the only vocation
to the priesthood from St. Joseph Parish.
* In the late 1960s, Father Raphael Hollis, O.SS.T was appointed pastor. He served the parish about six months.
* In 1969 Father Ignatius Estes, O.SS.T was appointed pastor.
* On July 5, 1971 Father Ignatius was transferred to St. Paul Church, Johnston City.
* Father Albert Buratto, O.SS.T was appointed pastor. He served in this position until April 2, 1978.
* On April 2, 1978, Father Edward Balestrieri, O.SS.T., became pastor and served the parish until April, 1981.
* On April, 1981, Father Richard Filice, O.SS.T., was assigned as temporary administrator pending
the designation of a new pastor.
* On August 26, 1981, Father Thomas N. Cerulo, O.SS.T., was installed as pastor.
* In 1981, the need for a Director of Religious Education was sent to the School Sisters of Notre Dame in St. Louis, MO. Sister Bernita Wassinger, SSND, responded to this need.
* In June, 1982, Sr. Martha Ann Schaefer, SSND, succeeded Sister Bernita as Director of Religious Education.
* In 1987, the Trinitarian congregation transferred Father Tom Cerulo to Rome, Italy.
Father Wes Lamb, O.SS.T. became the new pastor.
* In 1989, Sister Anastasia Wehner, SSND, succeeded Sister Martha Ann Schaefer,
SSND as Director of Religious Education.
* In early 1990, the Trinitarian order left southern Illinois. Reverend Bishop James Keleher, Bishop of Belleville, Illinois, assigned Father Richard G. Mohr, a diocesan priest, as pastor. Fr. Mohr was installed in July, 1990.
* Sister Anastasia retired from St. Joseph in June 2008.
* Bill Harper was hired to serve as Pastoral Associate/Director of Religious Education in July 1, 2008.
* Father Mohr retired on July 14, 2009.
* Reverend Monsignor Thomas D. Flach, V.F. was named pastor by Bishop Edward K. Braxton, effective July 14, 2009.
* A renovation to the church interior and exterior was completed in 2011.
* Emma Tuthill was hired as the Director of Religious Education on July 1, 2013.