St. Joseph Church | 1870 – Today
St. Joseph Orphanage opened on May 12. A small church that was to become St. Joseph Parish was built near the orphanage and dedicated by Bishop A.M. Toebbe. Members of the first Parish Committee were Wolfgang Bessler, Samuel Hoffman, Rudolph Kroger and John Holtz. A one-story school building was also constructed.
Rev. Herman Kramer proposed the construction of a new church building. A member of the parish, Henry Baudensistel, offered to make the bricks for the building from clay dug from behind the orphanage cemetery. Kilns were set up to bake the bricks.
The Cornerstone for the 92 by 42-foot church building was laid. The building cost $5,500.00. James Walsh of Covington donated $1,000.00 toward the project.
June 30, 1884
Fire destroyed the orphanage on 30 June.
June 18, 1888
Fire again struck the orphanage on 18 June.
A new three-story orphanage was dedicated. A steady stream of wagons and carriages poured out Alexandria Pike and bands marched for the dedication of the site.
On the church property, a two-story parish school was constructed. That building served as the parish school for the next 37 years.
St. Joseph Parish celebrated its’ 50th Anniversary. Chicken dinners, a Home coming for the former parishioners and music by the Knights of St. John provided the entertainment. The pastor, Rev. George Kaufman proposed building a new parish school.
Rev. George Kaufman died and a new pastor, Rev. Joseph Broerman selected a site about a quarter of a mile south of the church complex. The one-story four-room brick building still stands. It was the first parish building on what in currently the St. Joseph Church and School Complex.
Pastor, Rev. Lawrence Leinheuser, with the founding of the “Vet Village” (Crestview) saw the need to expand the parish school. The parish constructed another building that not only housed classrooms, but also an auditorium/gymnasium.
Several more classrooms were constructed; the addition also served as living quarters for the Sisters of Notre Dame who taught at the school. The addition also housed a chapel to help the crowding of the parish church.
The Diocese gave approval for a new church. Not only was the existing church too small, but it was also one of the oldest catholic churches in the county.
Under the leadership of Rev. Leinheuser, Edward J. Schulte & Associates of Cincinnati were hired as building architect and Building Crafts, Inc. were hired as the General Contractor. The new church also was to have four classrooms in the basement and a large meeting room (Kelley Hall) and the building would also house a new rectory.
December 20, 1960
On 20 December, the last mass was conducted in the old church. The first mass in the new church was held the next day.
Bishop Richard Ackerman held dedication of the completed church complex on 9 April. The Corpus Christi Church Choir joined the St. Joseph’s Men’s Choir in the celebration.
Geiman Brothers constructed the Bell Tower. The three bells, “Joseph,” “Mary,” and “Gabriel” were erected in the tower. Barney Sacksteder and Al Rust transported the statue of St. Joseph at the base of the tower from Old St. Joseph Orphanage. The tower was dedicated on December 19th
A new convent for the sisters was completed. In the middle of the complex adjacent to the school.
Rev. Charles Hoffer became pastor. During his administration St. Joseph Church celebrated its’ 100th Anniversary.
Another school addition, housing several classrooms, a computer room, library and office were completed.
Under the guidance of Rev. Clarence J. Heitzman, a new parish hall “Memorial Hall” and additional classrooms were completed. On 1 July the Rev. Leroy Smith became pastor.
The Rev. Robert Henderson became pastor and through his leadership the 125th Anniversary of St. Joseph Parish was organized.
St. Joseph is the largest Catholic Church in Campbell County and the largest Catholic School in the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky.
On July 1 the Rev. Gerald L. Reinersman became pastor.
Fr Henderson retired and remains a member of the parish. He is active as a Chaplain at St Elizabeth South hospital. Fr Reinersman’s first task was to implement the Parish Revitalization Plan, begun while Fr. Henderson was pastor.
A capital campaign with four goals was initiated in the fall. The goals were to air condition the school classrooms, renovate the school restrooms, refurbish the church and establish an endowment to assist the parish with its mission of Catholic education.
Sufficient gifts and pledges were obtained to complete the first two goals by the fall. Refurbishing the church was started soon after. Sunday Mass was held in Memorial Hall during the five months needed for the refurbishing
The church was rededicated by Bishop Roger Foys on Sunday, January 30. The renovations addressed a redesign of the nave, new baptismal font, updated sound system, new ambo and alter furnishings, upgraded lighting system and handicap accessible spaces throughout the body of the church.
The push to be more handicap accessible continued in 2018 when funds were raised to install an elevator from the lower parking lot to the church. Construction was completed in the summer of 2019, allowing persons with handicaps to more fully participate in the parish life and worship.
The parish celebrates its 150th Anniversary Jubilee. The Jubilee theme: “Grateful for the past – Faithful in the present – Hopeful for the future”.
The church organ was newly restored in October 2022. This project was funded by the generosity of the parishioners and partners in our community.
Click here to see the restoration process photo gallery.
Father Andrew Young is named the new Pastor of St. Joseph Parish.