|In 1853, the Roman Catholic faith was present in the lives of
many people who were rapidly beginning to settle in the greater
Bishop Fitzpatrick assigned Father John Ryan to organize the Catholics in the area and to form a parish with Malden as its center. As a result, Immaculate Conception Church, Malden, was established in 1854 embracing eight cities and towns.
In 1868, the Church of St. Patrick's, Stoneham,was formed and the communities of Stoneham, Melrose, Reading and Wakefield became part of this newly formed Parish.
As the faith continued in upward growth, the Parish of Sacred Hearts, Malden, was established in 1890 and the Catholic population of the Faulkner, Forestdale, Linden and Maplewood sections of Malden became part of the new Parish as well as the entire Bell Rock section and the central part of the city of Malden. In 1893, the land which is the present site of St. Joseph's, Malden, was purchased and a mission church of Sacred Hearts, Malden, was later erected.
On March 13,1902, St. Joseph's Parish, Malden, was established with Father Timothy Holland as first Pastor. The new Parish embraced the territory of a section of Forestdale, all of Maplewood and Linden in Malden plus an area of Saugus and North Revere.
Father Holland remained as Pastor until 1924. On June 2. 1924, Father Patrick Walsh became Pastor of St. Joseph's. During this period with St. Joseph's Parish growing rapidly, a new church building was erected to replace the old mission church. Along with the building of a new church structure, the Parish established a parochial school consisting of several small buildings on the property. On April 10, 1935, Father Walsh was appointed as Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, South Weymouth.
Father John Coughlin was appointed as the third Pastor of St. Joseph's on April 10, 1935. It was during his pastorale that major changes in the territory of St. Joseph's Parish came about. In 1947, St. Mary of the Assumption, Revere, was established and North Revere and part of Linden, Malden, were put in this new Parish. Shortly thereafter, in 1949, St. Margaret's, Saugus, was founded and the Saugus section became part of this new Parish.
St. Joseph's Parish still began to grow in numbers and it was deemed necessary to construct a new church building. This was constructed as a basement church with the possibility of adding upwards at a future time.
Upon the death of Father Coughlin on November 20, 1950, Father Michael Horrigan came from St. Theresa's Parish, Sherborn, on November 29, 1950, as the fourth Pastor of St. Joseph's Parish. During Father Horrigan's the- present church building was constructed in 1962. At this time, the church, the newly erected school building and the rectory were all connected into one complex. It was in this period of time that the parishioners of St. Joseph's made considerable sacrifices to foster their ever-growing faith commitment. However, it must be pointed out that the Archdiocesan decisions made during the construction of the present church building caused much heartache and discontent for the parishioners at that time.
Upon the death of Father Horrigan on January 4, 1964, Father Theodore Seckel was named the fifth Pastor of St. Joseph's on January 23, 1964. His pastorale came at a time of great change in society-a drug culture rapidly developing and the tragedy of the Viet Nam war were situations of great concern. Changes were coming about in the Church with the completion of the Second Vatican Council. Father Seckel's health was poor and he passed away on August 15, 1970.
Father Arthur McClory, a long-time assistant at St. Joseph's, was appointed as the sixth Pastor of St. Joseph's in July 1, 1970. Father McClory did tremendous work in. improving church property and a great part of the Parish debt was paid off. However, a decision made during this period of time affected the Parish again. In 1972, due to the decrease in Religious personnel and the enormous drain on the Parish finances, it became necessary to close the Parish School. This closing caused much anger, ill-will and discontent in the Parish. Father Michael Regan, an associate at the time, did noble work in establishing a fine Religious Education Program and calmed the fears of many parishioners over the school closing.
Father McClory, after a long illness, passed away on July 16, 1978. In October, 1978, three priests were assigned to St. Joseph's Parish as a Team Ministry-a rather new concept in the Archdiocese of-Boston. Renovations to the church interior were made creating a beautiful setting for the celebration of liturgy. The involvement of parishioners was increased and further programs were established for the betterment of Parish life.
A great enthusiasm began developing in the Parish at this time, but the unfortunate reality of unstable staffing problems had a damaging effect. The lack of stability translated into a confidence problem that many parishioners had with the Church. This lack of confidence created situations that affected long range goals.
On October 11, 1983, Father John Daley was appointed the eighth Pastor of St. Joseph's replacing the Team Ministry. Father Daley pursued and achieved a sense of stability within the Parish, ending the times of turmoil and tension. Joining him through most of these years were the late Father Dennis O'Driscoll, Father Richard Bakker and Father William Smith.
Since the foundation of St. Joseph's Parish in 1902, many changes have taken place. Many buildings have been erected and maintained, many difficult decisions have been made, and many hard times endured. Yet our history clearly reveals how blessed the parish has been in the quality and dedication of the priests, religious, and lay people who have served it. In their daily lives, our parishioners show and share their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and their love and dedication to St. Joseph's parish. May God give us the grace to continue to live our faith as a witness to the Gospel message of love.
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