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The History of St. Joseph's Parish

Date Event
1930 Most Rev. J.T. McNally, D.D., fifth bishop of Hamilton creates the parish of St. Joseph. Rev. Reuben M. Haller is assigned as pastor and to build the church.
Sept 25, 1930 Fr. Haller arrives in Kitchener from Hanover.
Sept 29, 1930 Property secured from the School Board for $3000.00.
Sept 30, 1930 Seegmillers shovel on property.  House vacated by Mrs. George.
Oct 9, 1930 Footings poured at 11:00am.
Oct 17, 1930 Concrete poured.
Oct 26, 1930 Mass started at St. Joseph's school hall.  Attendance was 500.
Nov 6, 1930 Roof slab poured Nov 6th and Nov 7th.
Nov 7, 1930 Men hold meeting at St. Mary's hall.
Nov 23, 1930 First recorded baptism.  Kenneth Joseph Karges, son of Fred and Eleanor Karges (nee Dietrich).
Christmas, 1930 Church services are held in the church basement.
Jan 2, 1931 First recorded death.  Raymond Androza, age 4 months, son of Louis Androza and Josephine Pineau.  Buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Jan 3, 1931.
Feb 16, 1931 First recorded marriage.  John Louis Sauer of Detroit to Mary Magdalene Reinhart of Kitchener.
1939 Father Reuben Haller as wartime chaplain.
1940 Holy Name Society founded.  Charter president is Harold Fisher.
Oct 28, 1943 Fr W. T. Sehl, future pastor of St. Joseph's parish is born.
March 31, 1951 St. Joseph's Parish Kitchener Credit Union established with 25 charter members.  Mrs. Velert Miehm, president.  In 1980, membership was 597, with Stan Marshall as president.  The Credit Union was disbanded in 1995.
1952 The cornerstone was laid for the upper church.
St. Bernadette's Separate School built.
Dec 3, 1952 Convent purchased from Margaret Kannipan for $11,000
April 13, 1953 The upper church is completed.  Bishop Joseph Ryan, sixth bishop of Hamilton, dedicates the church and the parishioners move upstairs.
Chronobell MAAS Model #579-A automatic Angelus Chiming System was purchased at a cost of $1,500.
July 13, 1953 Rectory property purchased from Lillian Zinken through Donald E. LaFlamme for $7,800.
1958 New rectory on Madison Avenue completed.  Former rectory on Courtland Avenue sold.
April, 1965 Stone altars installed and consecrated.  The main altar contains relics of St. John Bosco as well as several martyrs whose names have been lost.
1968 Rev L.P. Cullton appointed as second pastor and serves St. Joseph's until 1975.
1970 Convent house on Madison Avenue sold.  Now known as Madison House, it is used by the social services for children who have been in trouble.  It is a short term facility for both boys and girls between returning home, or going to a longer term facility.
1971 New electric organ installed at a cost of $26,000.
1975 Rev Harold Smith, a former associate pastor, appointed pastor and serves until his retirement in 1978.
1978 Rev. Charles Schefter appointed pastor.  Rev. Manuel Lourenco O.H. appointed to St. Joseph's Church in the fall of 1978 to care for the spiritual welfare of the Portuguese community in the K-W area.
1979 Most Rev. Paul F. Reding, seventh bishop of Hamilton, rededicates the renovations to the parish hall and the new side entrance on the school side.  The St. Joseph Parish Advisory Council is formed, with Matthew Pappert as chairman.  Very Rev. Monsignor Reuben M. Haller, first pastor of St. Joseph's parish, dies.
Sept 28, 1980 Bishop Reding unveils a plaque of Msgr. Haller.  The plaque is a gift from the parishoners.
Mrs. Irene Rundstedler is elected president of the CWL.
St. Joseph's celebrates it's 50th anniversary.
1982 Father Leo Speagle appointed pastor and initiates the sung version of the Lord's Prayer.
1986 The interior of the church is renovated.  The statues are painted over, the tabernacle is moved to the side altar, the baptismal font is moved to the side area after the pews are removed, and the presidential chair is moved to the high place.  The sanctuary windows are covered, and the mosaic decorations are added.
1987 Sister Theresa Nagle is appointed as pastoral assistant is January by Fr. Speagle.  She serves for three and a half years, especially with the youth, altar servers, the sick and the elderly.
June, 1988 Father Don Sanvido is appointed pastor.  He works with the Citizens on Patrol Association to take back the night.
1988 Brick work is done on the church.  Much of this work was accomplished by parishioners, as well as painting the church hall.
Our Lady of Fatima Church is established to the Portuguese community with Father Gabriel Catarino appointed as the pastor.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society, Kitchener Waterloo, establishes Marillac House on Madison Avenue South to provide refuge for homeless women.
1989 The interior of the church is painted by the parishioners.  Several other maintenance projects were also accomplished by the parishioners saving the parish thousands of dollars.
1990 St. Joseph's Parish celebrates it's 60th year.  A photo directory is produced for the celebration.
1995 The parish credit union winds down and closes.
June, 1995 Father Ken Miskiewicz is appointed pastor.
May 13, 1996 The deteriorating brick at the top of the Bell Tower is replaced with stone.  The project took one month to complete by volunteer parishioners.  The project was headed by Albert Lamers and Gerhard Kompter, with the assistance of many volunteers from the church.  Food was provided each day by women volunteers of the parish.  The cost of the project was just under $50,000, saving the parish more than $130,000.
September, 1996 A new sound system is installed in the church, at a cost of $8507.04.
November, 1996 A new nativity set is purchased at a cost of $927.69.  New Holy Water pots are installed at a cost of $700.85.
December, 1996 The rectory furnace is modified to use natural gas.  The church is also modified to gas until new boilers can be installed.  The cost is $2600.
Feb 8, 1997 Albert Lamers and Gerhard Kompter are presented with medals of Honour from the Diocese of Hamilton for outstanding service at our annual Parish Appreciation Dinner.
Feb 13, 1997 Albert Lamers dies suddenly of a heart attack near Huntsville.
May, 1997 The school side entrance is redesigned and replaced by volunteer workers, at a cost of $2500.  Lunch was made by the women for the volunteers.
July, 1997 Window security grates are custom made and installed on the windows in the church basement.
October, 1997 A new gas furnace is installed in the church at a cost of $55,254.80. Volunteers from the building committee also worked at this time to save the church substantial costs.
December, 1997 New windows are installed on the main floor and the upper floor and attic of the rectory, at a cost of $12,349.74
February, 1998 The church hall is painted by volunteer workers.  Lunch is provided by the women of the parish.
April, 1998 The roof of the church is insulated by volunteer workers from the building committee, at a cost of $4,000.  Women from the church made lunch for the workers.
May, 1998 New windows are installed in the church basement, sacristy and Madison side entrance at a cost of $11,866.78.
Chimney on church is lowered and refinished by volunteers from the parish. Women from the church made lunch for the workers.
July, 1998 Father Terence Sehl replaces Father Ken Miskiewicz.
May 21, 1999 The deteriorating brick on the facade of Church is replaced with stone. The work was finished on May 28th by parish volunteers in 8 days! Two women also helped.  Women volunteers from the parish made lunch for the volunteer workers. Parishioners also donated lots of baking for the workers. The age group of our building committee volunteers is from (1) sixteen year old to over 70 years of age, with the majority being over the age of 60 years. Enough cannot be said about all our volunteers. As St. Joseph was a worker - our parish group of volunteers follow in his footsteps.
Spring, 1999 The Ambry is restored in the sanctuary wall and placed into use again for the 3 Holy Oils.  Work was done by volunteer workers from the parish.
The 6 tall and old candlesticks are obtained and placed by the altar.
Stained glass windows are being repaired by Randy Harrigan of Victorian Art Glass.  First bill for the windows comes in December of 1999 for $2461.00 next April 2000 for $615.25 next August 2000 for $642.00.
Statues ( 5 ) are being repainted by 3 parishioners Ed Halter, Gloria Cormier and Denise Simpson and are finished in the fall at a cost of $261.57.
June, 1999 The retaining wall is put in place along Madison side and in front of the church by dedicated volunteers of our parish.  Women volunteers from the parish made lunch for the volunteer workers.
July 1999 New covering over Rose Window in choir loft at a cost of $1070.00
Summer, 1999 Installation of Chair Lift, making the Church and Hall wheelchair accessible.  The total cost of $33804.50 includes chairlift, wiring and inspection. After a few minor problems the chairlift was operational in the fall. A plaque is to be placed In Memory of Father Leo Speagle whose bequest to us covered almost all the cost.
Air conditioning for the Rectory Office and living quarters is installed at a cost of $7982.20
The security and fire monitoring system for both the Church and the Rectory is installed at a cost of $5230.16.
October 1999 New shrubs are planted in the flower bed retaining walls in the front and side of the church, and new sod was laid at the front of the church, as summer was very hot and dry. All work was done by parish volunteers. Four shrubs were stolen in the first week and replaced in the spring of 2000.
November, 1999 The building committee of parishioners redesigned the sanctuary floor.  They moved the heavy stone altar forward successfully (this was planned sinc 1986).  The Tabernacle was moved back to its position of honour and prominence. A Eucharistic Exposition, Procession, and Benediction was celebrated on the feast of Christ the King. A new altar of fitting proportion and strength to be built in 2000 for the tabernacle.
New lighting is installed in the sanctuary and in the choir loft by parishioner Bert Dietrich.  Total cost for the renovations to the sanctuary - new flooring, moving the Altar, new lighting and a few other odd jobs around the church - was $ 14486.41.  All work was done by volunteers from the parish at a very substantial saving to the church.
December, 1999 The hand carved wooden statue of St. Joseph the Worker was obtained from the Sisters of Social Service when they closed their Holy Spirit Retreat House in Hamilton.  The statue was placed by the side altar in front of the church.
Four adoring angels are obtained and placed beside the Tabernacle and on the side shelves in the sanctuary at a cost of $250.
March, 2000 The new wooden altar is placed in the center of the Sanctuary for the Tabernacle.  It was designed and built by Wooden Stairs and Railings Ltd at a cost of $1155.60.
New smoke detectors are installed in the church at a cost of $2,693.30.
June, 2000 Bricks are replaced on the Madison side extension area by volunteers from the parish at a cost of just under $2000.00.  The bricks were purchased previously. Women again made the lunch for the men.
The balcony off Father's quarters is repaired also by the volunteers.
Outside drains from back of garage to side entrance are dug up and replaced by volunteers, as drains had collapsed in some parts and were badly plugged up where they met the school drains. The Backhoe operator did an excellent job and also helped pitch in to put in the new drain. Once again our volunteers from the church saved the church a substantial amount of money in the month of June.
Some of the Terrazzo Steps at the school side entrance are replaced and others just repaired at a cost of $4761.50 by Twin City Tile Co. Ltd. of Kitchener.
September, 2000 The bell controls are finished being repaired by Mr. Herb Altman and put back in the sacristy
June 30, 2001 Through to July 29 the Reproduction of the Holy Shroud of Turin Exhibit was on display in the church hall. Hours were Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. Richard and Debbie Wojcik of the Ave Maria Circle and of our parish were responsible for bringing the exhibit to our church.
July, 2001 Two new steel doors are installed - the back door of the Rectory and the door in the breezeway between the rectory and the Church. The door frames and back of breezeway are also capped with aluminum siding, at a cost of $2137.86
2002 The upstairs church is now 50 years old.
A steel roof with a 50-100 year life expectancy is installed on both the church and the rectory.
A coppersmith reseals the dome after parishioners replace the rotten wood underneath. Wider eaves troughs and down spouts are also installed.
2003 Ruth Ann Dietrich retires after serving 12 years in the parish office, and is succeeded by Diane Blanchette.
2004 After several backups, the drains in the rectory are cleaned out with a 70 foot snake and then with a high pressure procedure - the city also send a camera through and cleared a blockage.
CREDO of St. Joseph's was started by the young adults of the parish.
An anniversary committee is set up to plan for next year's 75th anniversary.
2005 St. Joseph's celebrates it's 75th anniversary.
June, 2005 Father Brian Quigley and Father Chris Besigye of the Comboni Missionaries arrive at St. Joseph's.
September, 2006 Father Chris returns to Uganda to be closer to his ailing mother.
October, 2006 Father Tom Vermiglio, mccj arrives at St. Joseph's parish to replace Father Chris.
October, 2007 Father Denis Wilkinson, mccj arrives to assist Father Brian and Father Tom.
January, 2011 Father Brian is appointed Mission Office director and treasurer of the Provincial Council of the North American Province, at the Comboni Missionaries head office in Cincinnati, Ohio
August, 2011 Father Dennis Conway, mccj joins Father Tom and Father Denis