1876-2022: 145 years, 22 shepherds
Roll Call of St. Joseph Parish Pastors and Administrators
1876 – Rev. Martin Van den Bogaard
1882 – Rev. John Fox
1883 – Rev. James Devine
1883 – Rev. B. T. O’Connell
1898 – Rev. J. A. Lawrence
1899 – Rev. William Dittrich
1912 – Rev. Thomas Rudder
1928 – Rev. Thomas Hennesey
1929 – Rev. James A. Harding
1937 – Rev. John E. Larkin
1938 – Rev. Cornelius Kane (Admin)
1938 – Rev. John C. Ferrell
1941 – Rev. Patrick Larkin
1946 – Rev. Edmund Kreger
1966 – Rev. Vincent Cardarelli (Admin)
1967 – Rev. Frederick Clancy
1975 – Rev. Florian J. Gall
1984 – Rev. Michael J. Alliegro
1990 – Rev. Charles T. O’Connor
2013 – Rev. Alfonso Condorson
2018 – Rev. John Pringle (Admin)
2020 – Rev. Msgr. J. Kerrigan
(above: Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Alliegro (pastor 1984-90) leads a communal baptism in 1986.)
“The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration…a community of communities”– Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, #28.
St. Joseph Parish History Timeline
1858 – Catholics in Bound Brook were placed under the care of German Benedictine monks based in Newark. Benedictine Father Louis Fink was the first priest officially assigned to the borough. Services were held in private homes or in a room above a shoe store on Main Street!
1865 – A small frame Catholic church was built in Bound Brook, as additional Benedictine monks succeeded Fr. Fink in ministry. The community remained a German-speaking one.
June 17, 1866 – Our parish was established as a permanent mission.
December 1876 – The church was dedicated with Fr. Martin A. Vanden Bogaard assigned as the first resident pastor.
1889 – The frame church was torn down.
June 7, 1891 – the second church was dedicated. The stone church was considered “the most beautiful house of worship in Somerset County”, when it was built. It served the parish well for eighty years.
September, 1891 – The old wooden church was reused as a school.
September, 1893 – St. Joseph school was opened. It continued until 1913.
September 6, 1893 – Land was purchased for a parish cemetery.
February 1, 1920 – Court Gloria #462, Catholic Daughters of the Americas was established.
September, 1920 – The parish school was reestablished. Classes were held in the church.
January, 1921 – a new school building was completed. It included a two-year commercial high school program. The program continued until June, 1929.
1946 – Holy Name Society became active.
1950 – Rosary Altar Society was organized.
1952 – Bingo was initiated as a way to cope with the growing financial need in the parish. It continued until 1986.
1958 – The school was expanded.
1963 – The first annual Fiesta/Carnival was held. It continued until 1986.
1964 – Planning began for building a new church.
February, 1968 – A parish meeting was held to decide on the plans for the new.
December 7, 1969 – Ground was broken for the third church.
1970 – St Joseph Parish became the center for the Spanish speaking community in Somerset County.
Christmas, 1970 – The first Mass was offered in the new church.
1971 – The Senior Citizens Leisure Time Club was organized.
February 21, 1971 – The new brick hexagonal contemporary style church was dedicated. At the time, it was the largest Catholic Church in Somerset County.
1976 – The Mary Martha Society was established.
1977 – St. Joseph Visitors was established to distribute the Eucharist to the homebound, sick and elderly.
April 1981 – Spanish Marriage Encounter was established.
May 22, 1989 – St. Joseph Parish was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
June 12, 1990 – Rev. Charles T. O’Connor is appointed pastor. By the time his 23-year run ended in 2013, he was the longest-serving pastor in parish history. And, by 2020, the only living pastor still in the active priesthood.
October 14, 1990 – The annual Hispanic-American Festival was held.
July 1, 1991 – St. Joseph School and St. Mary School were merged to form Holy Family Academy. This included students from Our Lady of Mercy in South Bound Brook.
July, 1997 – The Christ in Action Ministry (CIAM) was started.
March 19, 1999 – Following an evening Mass for the Feast of St. Joseph a candle light procession was held through downtown Bound Brook.
September 1999 – Hurricane Floyd devastated Bound Brook. The Parish Center and the school flooded up to the first floor. Many parish records and pictures were lost.
2011 – Holy Family Academy was closed.
September, 2012 – The Faith Formation program added a class for children with special needs.
2014 – The Spanish and English Faith Formation classes for children were merged.
2014 – The school building was sold to the Bound Brook School District.
2021-22 — Both the universal church and the parish celebrate a “Year of St. Joseph.” The parish year concludes with the kickoff of preparations for the 150th Anniversary of St. Joseph Catholic Community in 2026.