St. Joseph the Worker celebrates 120 years of parish life

LIVERPOOL — St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Liverpool is celebrating its 120th anniversary. The parish was formally established in October of 1890, staffed by priests of St. John the Baptist Church in Syracuse. The original church was built on the corner of Oswego and Cypress Streets.

In 1913, Father Joseph Wilmes became the first pastor. In 1919, Father William McCormick took over. He was followed by Father Edward Quaid in 1926. In 1935, Father Thomas Kellett became pastor. He passed away in 1944 and Father Paul Hemmer became pastor.

During his pastorate the property was purchased on the corner of Sixth and Tulip Streets. A temporary church and school were built and were ready in 1958. The rectory was completed in 1960. In 1970, Father J. Robert Long became pastor and it was during this time that a new church and gymnasium were built. They were dedicated on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 1974. The present pastor, Father Charles M. Major, came to St. Joseph’s in July 1977.

The parish celebrated its 90th anniversary in October of 1980 and the centennial celebration was in October of 1990.

To celebrate the 120th anniversary, the parish has several joyous occasions planned. On Sept. 12 there was a parish picnic which drew a crowd of approximately 200 people. On the weekend of Sept. 18 – 19 there was a Welcoming Weekend. In the gym, there was a fair showing the various ministries and areas of parish life that define St. Joseph the Worker. On the weekend of Oct. 9 – 10 the liturgies focused on the 120th anniversary. Father Richard Vosko, a well-known architect of liturgical space, was the homilist. Father Vosko resided at St. Joseph’s from 1980-84 while he earned two master’s degrees from Syracuse University.

To celebrate with others, parishioners put together packets of rosaries and prayers for residents at Elderwood and West Side Manor. The parish also donated some CDs to add to their music library.

Some parishioners wrote “legacy letters,” describing various parish events that affected them in a positive way, to share with future parishioners. These letters will be used throughout the coming months during liturgies.

During September, photographs were taken by Olan Mills to publish a pictorial directory in honor of our 120th.

Some parishioners are completing a quilt that will be displayed in the parish center. On this quilt are pictures of all the pastors, the original church and some pictures of the parish.

St. Joseph’s continues to explore ways in which parishioners can interact with others in the parish, the community of Liverpool and the wider community of Syracuse and the world. For more information about St. Joseph the Worker or for Mass times, call (315) 457-6060.

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