DEDHAM – St. Joseph Parish will note its 125th anniversary with an 11:30 a.m. Mass, Sept. 24. Celebrating the Mass will be Father Kevin Richter and concelebrants will include: Fathers Brian Danner, John Gerald and Anthony Pick. Deacons of the Mass will be Louis Meiners, Tim Murphy and Gary Schon.
Mass will be followed by a picnic in the park with live music by “Studio 728.” The event is open to the public and individuals may bring lawn chairs and coolers to the picnic. A free-will donation is asked to offset expenses.
Established in 1891 of German and English Catholics, Dedham built its first church in 1892. As more parishioners joined the parish, a new church was erected in 1904, at a cost of $5,000.
In 1939, St. Joseph had increased to 140 families and a new church was again in order. This brick building was 125-feet by 51-feet with a basement under the entire structure. The present church was dedicated on Oct. 1, 1940, by Bishop Edmond Heelan.
The first school was held in the rear of the 1892 church. When the 1904 church was built, the old church was made into a school. A brick school was erected in 1913, a two-story building with a basement. Classes were taught by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.
St. Joseph School included grades 1-10 until 1930, when the high school was dropped. Dedham and Willey combined schools in 1968, grades 1-8. The Dedham-Willey School eventually closed in 1990 and the building was razed in 1992. Students currently attend Kuemper Catholic School System in Carroll, grades preK through 12.
St. Joseph has had six native priests: Fathers Louis Anthofer, Peter Mattes, Louis Meyer, Othmar Koester, Herbert Stangl and Brian Danner. Sixteen of the parish’s daughters joined the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. One has joined the Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton and one has joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist.