A Look Back...

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   The St. Joseph’s Parish is the oldest Catholic community in New Jersey.  In 1765 Father Ferdinand Farmer, a missionary priest from Germany, traveled from Philadelphia to Macopin (now a part of West Milford) to minister to the German Catholics.  This was done secretly as it was illegal to practice the Roman Catholic religion in British-ruled New Jersey.  Father Farmer visited this area twice a year.  After his death in 1786, visits by priests were less frequent.  No Mass was said here for 25 years following Father Farmer’s death.  During this period, the Catholic community gathered on Sundays in each others’ homes where the rosary was prayed and catechism was taught to the children.  Members of St. Joseph’s community had to travel to the nearest church which was in New York City for sacraments.

   In 1829, the 100 people of St. Joseph’s parish built the first church building, dedicating it on November 13, 1829.  This church was a mission church of St. Anthony’s Franciscan church in Butler.  The Franciscans soon saw the need for a larger and better church.  The cornerstone for the second church was laid on December 19, 1886 and the church was dedicated on July 3, 1887.  This church was totally destroyed by fire on November 2, 1904.  The third and present church was built on its foundation and dedicated on November 12, 1905. 

    In 1944 Saint Joseph Church became a canonical parish on its own right as part of the 7 year old Diocese of Paterson.

    After serving its people for more than 120 years, the Franciscan friars turned over the ministry of Saint Joseph’s Parish to priests of the Diocese of Paterson in 2003.

    Throughout all of their triumphs and tribulations over 250 years, the people of Saint Joseph’s have remained steadfast in the Christian virtues of faith, hope, charity and love.

Mass Schedule

   9:00 AM Church 

   9:00 AM Church
   5:00 PM Church

   8:00 AM Church
 10:00 AM Parish Center
 12:00 PM Church

Mon-Thurs   9 AM - 4 PM
Friday  9 AM - 12 Noon
Saturday & Sunday Closed