History of St. Joseph's
St. Joseph Parish first opened its doors on East Vermont Street in 1873. The parish grew and a new church was built in 1879 at 623 East North Street - pictured here. In June, 1949 the parish was officially dissolved but in September of the same year it was announced a new St. Joseph Parish would open at 6041 West Morris Street.
History has a way of repeating itself. Like the original St. Joseph, the new St. Joseph was again relocated. This time it was moved to 11 acres of ground on South Mickley Avenue where a new church-school building, a rectory and a convent were built. The pews in the newest St. Joseph Church were brought from the old St. Joseph Church on North Street, serving as a link to the past and as a reminder of the history of St. Joseph Parish.
In June, 1970 the parish closed its school. The convent was leased to the Sisters of Charity who formed the St. Joseph House of Prayer.
In 1971 the interior of the church was changed from the old traditional style to a modern seating arrangement. In 1980, the property north of the rectory was sold to a day care center. Also in 1980 the convent building was leased to First Steps, an organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of women recovering from addiction.
Over the years we have made many renovations. In 1984 a hip roof was added to the building, in 1988 stained glass windows were added and air conditioning was installed in 1989. In 1991, Fr. Glenn O’Connor arrived on the scene and the renovation continued with new windows, kitchen cabinets, and an update to the interior of the rectory. Elford Hall was renovated to include central air, new windows, a drop ceiling, new lighting and renovation of the stage and walls.
In 2008 we added a new Narthex (gathering area), a place where we can greet guests and socialize before and after the liturgy and where parish business can take place. At the same time, renovation work to the interior of the sanctuary was begun.
St. Joseph's Today
St. Joseph Parish is an active, caring community. The school building is always busy with parish meetings, RCIA, children’s religious education programs and many community functions. Parishioners have volunteered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, running a concession stand for many years and two years ago a three day festival in September was added. We also have a community garden.
The convent has been sold to Seeds of Hope which is a half-way house dedicated to assisting women recovering from addiction. Recently, Seeds of Hope received a grant enabling them to add on to the existing convent building so more women recovering from addiction can be served.