Saturday 14th October 2006

St Joseph's Church celebrated its 99th Anniversary

Centennial Year Celebrations began!


Our Centenary Year opened with the Vigil Mass on the 14th October.  100 years is a long time in our lives and lots of changes have happened to the Church in that time.  Many of us remember when Mass was celebrated in Latin and, in fact, for the majority of the time the church has been open that was indeed the case.  So, as a throw back to those times we indulged ourselves in a little nostalgia.  The Kyrie (Lord, have mercy on us), Gloria (Glory to God in the highest), Credo (I believe), Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy Lord), Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) and Pater Noster (Our Father) were sung in Latin.  The response from the congregation was very good seeing as how it was long ago that they had sung them this way.  After the Mass there was a Cheese and Wine reception in the Parish Centre.


Many more events will be held over the coming year so watch this space!



St. Joseph’s 100 Years ago


We promised you at the start of our centenary year that we would let you know what was happening in the parish 100 years.  As we are celebrating St. Joseph’s Feast tomorrow these are a few extracts from the Parish Notice books for March 1907.


On 10th March there was a meeting at St. Mary’s School (which is now part of the university at the bottom of Chester Road) at 3.30pm “regarding the Guardian Elections.  Our Catholic Guardians for Bridge Ward are likely to be opposed and as 1/3 of this ward is in our parish we ask St. Joseph’s people to go and give all possible help to win the election.”  The Guardians were responsible for the running of the workhouse and the provision of assistance to the destitute.


17th March was Passion Sunday (now the 5th Sunday of Lent), even then it was also St. Patrick’s Day.

The Feast of St. Joseph was described thus: “Tuesday, 19th March, St. Joseph, Patron of the universal Church and of this Mission.”


On Sunday there was Catechism at 2pm followed by instruction and benediction at 2.30pm.  Stations of the Cross were celebrated 6.30pm with sermon and Benediction.


To celebrate the feast of St. Joseph there was Benediction at 7.30 pm instead of on the Wednesday.  There was no other special celebration announced for the feast day.  However there was a tea and concert to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the Monday.



St. Joseph’s 50 Years ago


Not only do we have the Notice Books for 100 years ago we also have them for 50 years ago when Fr. Roger Morrissey was Parish Priest.


17th March 1957 was the 2nd Sunday in Lent, (Vatican II was still a few years away). There were 3 Masses each day as well as Mass at the Lady altar.  Parishioners were told every week “Never miss Mass on a Sundays through your own fault.”


There were Lenten Devotions every night at 7.30pm with special nights on Tuesdays for men and boys and Thursdays for women and girls.  Confessions were heard every morning and night during Lent.  Parishioners were “urged not to work every Sunday—give time to God.”  School children were encouraged to “come to Mass every morning before school.”  Many parishioners will remember going to Mass on a weekday morning and having breakfast in school – so school breakfasts are not a new idea!

There was a ceilidhe to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day who was described as “our brother in heaven.”


On 3rd March Fr Morrissey said to the parishioners “I have something to put before.  St Joseph’s Church celebrates its Golden Jubilee  this year (the parish is 85 years old).  To honour this occasion I have decided to have St Joseph’s washed and painted etc, etc,.  In spite of all the we have on hand for the parish, I am asking you to subscribe to the painting of the church by giving in a special way in the 2nd collection at Masses on Sundays.  I ask those who are disposed to put 10/- notes or £1 notes on the plate.  The work begins after Easter.  When the painting is finished (2 weeks contract) I will tell you the position.”