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St Joseph's Church

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St Joseph's Church - Page Text Content

S: St Joseph's Catholic Church

BC: Watercolor of St. Joseph's Church by John Connors

FC: St. Joseph's Catholic Church | Green Island, New York | June 22, 1890 - August 29 , 2010

1: St. Joseph's Catholic Church Green Island, New York 1890 - 2010 | This book is dedicated to my father, John J. McNulty, Jr., who was a lifelong member of St. Joseph's Church. The entire book, including photography, was done by my husband, Mark, as a gift to me, to be a reminder of the many events in the McNulty family that were centered around our parish. My father's last wish was to have his funeral from St. Joseph's, a wish he was granted just months before its closure in 2010. Thank you, Mark, for preserving such an important part of my family's heritage and faith.

2: St. Joseph's parish was organized in June, 1887. Before this time, our Roman Catholic residents had been attending services either in Troy or what was then West Troy, but had been looking forward to the time when they should have their own church in which to worship. Like the other churches in our village it was the outgrowth of a small beginning - a few of the people getting together and organizing. John Hurley acted as secretary at the first meeting, and the following were present: John Dwyer, Peter Toner, Patrick Dwyer, M. McGrath, John Bolan, Thomas Quinn, T. Cornelius, P. Keating, C. Warnock, John Daley, P. Cahill, Patrick Canfield, Daniel Donovan, Michael Keeler, Edward Hooley, Anthony Coffey, Mrs. Levins, Dennis Real, William Conroy, Patrick Grady, Richard Murray, Michael Keating, Louis Germain, Thomas Hynes, Martin Furey, Richard Leonard, John McDonough, John Broderick, Joseph Hynes and John Lavin. There had been several informal meetings held before this, usually in the Gilbert Car Works at the noon hour, at one of which it was decided to hold the meeting referred to, at which a committee was appointed to secure a site and ask the bishop to help in their effort to establish a parish. This the bishop did by sending Rev. Daniel O'Connell, assistant priest at St. Patrick's Church in what was then known as West Troy. For the first six months meetings were held in Union Hall, located at the southwest corner of George and Market Streets. The first mass was said in this hall. After six months the services were held in Leonard's Hall at the corner of George and Center Streets. Meanwhile several sites were considered, and finally the one on which St. Joseph's stood later was selected. The first church was built under the pastorate of Rev. John McMenomy, Joseph Hynes and John O'Keefe were the first trustees and incorporators. The first church had been completed under the pastorate of Father McMenomy, and in it the congregation worshiped for nineteen years, but from the very first Rev. Father William Connelly, as well as the trustees, laid their plan for a church which they considered more worthy of their parish, and under the leadership of Father Connelly they worked for the accomplishment of their purpose. The first step was taken when the lots on the corner of George and Swan Streets were purchased for $9,000. | From Samuel N. Hutchinson history of the Village of Green Island printed in The Troy Record in June of 1934.

3: These Lots had been owned by Marcus L. Filley, Sr. who had planned to build a residence on the Island, but for some reason he has changed his mind and sold the property to St. Joseph's Church. The house which stood on this lot was built by Mr. Viele, who operated the sawmill, and was one of the first houses built on Hudson Avenue. Father Connelly lived for a number of years in this house. When the church was built it was sold and moved. Mr. Viele also built the house on the corner of Hudson Avenue and Clinton Street which was bought by the Presbyterian church. The Minister lived in this building until the new parsonage was built. This house was also sold and moved to Paine Street. Father Connelly was a great lover of music, had a fine musical education himself, and devoted much of his time to drilling the young people and in that way interesting them in the musical part of the service. This he accomplished so well that the musical part of the services became very successful. Father Connelly's crowning work is the present beautiful church and parsonage, the cornerstone of which was laid June 22, 1890. Its original cost was about $40,000. Mark Cummings of Troy was the architect, Lemmon and Roberts were the carpenters and John McGowan, a trustee of the church, the mason. In later years the church has undergone renovation. Beautiful groups of oil paintings were added. This together with the electric lighting, designed to conform with the architecture of the church, lends a subdued effect and produces an atmosphere not only of beauty but also of peacefulness and reverence and to all this must be added the beautiful altars built of marble. The center altar was given as a memorial to Father Connelly. The devoted priest had given twenty-six years of his life to St. Joseph's Church. He was not only loved and respected by the people of his own parish, but by all the people of our village who knew him. He died in October, 1897. St. Joseph's parish has since undergone progressive changes. With Hundreds of families connected with its congregation it is wielding tremendous influences for good. The present pastor is Rev. Austin J. Corbett.

4: Monsignor Shea, who was Chancelor of the Diocese under Bishop Burke, was pastor of St. Joseph's Church from 1897 until his death in January, 1915. During this time some of the outstanding murals that decorated the church were painted by a noted Green Island artist, David Lithgow. He was, also, able to secure the assistance of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to conduct a Sunday School for the children of the parish for the next 21 years - assisted by the young ladies of the parish. Msgr. Shea was succeeded by Rev. John J. Barrett, who built a modern parochial school on the grounds occupied by the old church. The school was opened in 1921 with the first three grades and three Sisters of St. Joseph in charge. Mother M. Delores was the superior. Mr. Lyman Bennett, former owner of the local livery, traveled by car to Troy to the Provincial Seminary for the Sisters each morning and returned them each afternoon. An additional grade was added each year until the eight grades were complete. It was under Father Barrett's pastorate that electric lights were installed and the church redecorated. Father Barrett died August 13, 1927 and Rev. Francis X. King was appointed in September, 1927. A modern convent to house the Sisters of St. Joseph was built on the south east corner of George and Swan Streets. Many families gave individual gifts and memorials to furnish the convent. A small, attractive chapel was included. Ill health forced Father King to retire in March 1928. It was the job of Rev. Austin J. Corbett, who was appointed administrator, to finish the job of furnishing the convent. Father Corbett was a "Green Island boy". He was son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Corbett. He grew up with his brothers and sisters and received his early education in Green Island schools, acted as administrator for five years and was then officially made pastor. He not only contributed greatly to the religious life of the parish but creditably performed his duties in discharging the debt resulting from the building of the school and convent. He was loved by all. In poor health for several years, he died October 22, 1946 and Rev. William L. Martin was named to fill the vacancy. | In 1976 the Green Island Senior Citizens updated Mr. Hutchinson's history of the Village which included the following continuation of the history of St. Joseph's Church.

5: Father Martin had a brilliant record as Chaplain with the United States Navy during World War II and was formerly pastor of other local parishes. His friendliness and sincerity immediately endeared him to his people. One of his first tasks was the redecorating, after twenty years, of the church. Walls and ceilings were completely redecorated. Mr. David Lithgow was called to touch up his murals. New pews were installed as was floor covering. A loud speaker system was installed, also new modern lights. Chimes were another addition. The altar was enhanced by a magnificent bronze tabernacle, a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Wallingford. Mrs. Anna Benoit donated a marble altar railing in memory of her husband. After eight years as pastor, Father Martin was transferred to Sacred Heart Church in Troy and Rev. Joesph I. Hennessy was named pastor in 1953. Father Hennessy immediately began the prodigious job of bringing down the church debt. Through his economies and wise management, he accomplished the almost impossible task of liquidating a $141,000 debt. At the same time he made many improvements. The church was sand-blasted for the first time, new front steps and doors were installed and a gas heating plant in both church and school replaced the old heater. The church was again renovated and new windows installed. One of Father Hennessy's biggest projects had been building of a new rectory next to the church on George Street. It was opened for public inspection on January 1, 1966. After years of devoted service, in February 1971, Father Hennessy was retired by the Rev. Edwin B. Brodrick, Bishop of Albany. He went to live in a priest retirement home in Cohoes. The Rev. Donald J. Gravelle became pastor in February, 1971. Ill health forced him to retire in October, 1971. He was replaced in November, 1971 by Rev. Harold A. Sartoris. Both Father Gravelle and Father Sartoris had been pastors of area churches. Father Sartoris was transferred in January, 1974. During his stay new carpeting was installed in the sanctuary. The present pastor of St. Joseph's Church is the Rev. Thomas J. Maloney. He is the former superintendent of Schools of the Albany Diocese. New lecturns and other sanctuary furniture was donated to the church by some parishioners in 1975. Additional renovations are needed and a renovation fund has been established. Present trustees of the church are Arthur Heffern and Peter Fulgan.

30: Mass of Thanksgiving In Honor of all the men and women from St. Joseph's Parish who entered the religious life. December 1, 2002 | Sr. Carol Rohloff, Sr. Robert Rita Graham, Sr. Linda Dowling, Sr. Madeline Powers, Sr. Jean Keating, Sister Georgine Adele Lawrenson Peggy Gilboe Maloney, Sr. Marie Aimee Hurley, Fr. Donald Kelly, Sr. Mary Michael Valenzi, Sr. Marlene T. Castle, Michael Neaton | Parish Events

31: Funeral Mass of John J. McNulty Jr. January 2, 2010 | Photos by Tom Killips of The Troy Record

32: The Final Service at St. Joseph's Church August 29, 2010 | Photos by John Whipple of The Troy Record

33: While doing an internet search for this book, I found this post card being sold by someone in the Boston area.

34: St. Joseph's School Class of 1935

35: Knights of Columbus Annual Clam Steam August 29, 1954 | Knights of Columbus Annual Communion Breakfast May 21, 1950

36: Knights of Columbus Communion Breakfast circa 1940's

38: The Pastors of St. Joseph's Church | Rev. Ambrose O'Neil l868-1869 Rev. John McMenomy 1869-1871 Rev. William Connolly 1871-1897 Msgr. C.J. Shea 1897-1915 Rev. John J. Barrett 1915-1927 Rev. Francis X. King 1927-1928 Rev. Austin J. Corbett 1928-1946 Rev. William Martin 1946-1953 Rev. Joseph Hennessey 1953-1972 Rev/ Harold Sartoris 1972-1974 Rev. Thomas Maloney 1975-1977 Rev. Edward Sipperly 1977-1985 Rev. James O'Neill 1985-1994 Rev. James McNerney 1995-1997 Rev. Donald Kelly 1997-2005 Rev. L. Edward Deimeke 2005-2010

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