Our Parish History
A Parishioner of a Catholic Church in Berea, Mrs. O’Grady, sent a letter to Bishop Edward Hoban asking for a parish to be formed in Strongsville. St. Joseph Parish was thus founded in Strongsville, with Fr. Joseph McGraw being appointed as the first pastor in June. The first members of St. Joseph Parish gathered and celebrated their first Mass in the Strongsville town hall. From September to December, a Quonset hut was erected on the newly purchased 50 acre plot of land to serve as the temporary Church.
Saint Joseph Elementary School welcomed students in grades 1st through 8th for the first time giving Strongsville their first educational facility for Catholic teaching.
Fr. James McDonough became the 2nd pastor of St. Joseph Church. Fr. McDonough formerly was an English professor at St. John’s College. In his new role as pastor, he was tasked with building the new permanent church building.
Construction began at the time when the Second Vatican Council was in session, so design decisions were carefully thought out. Rauschenbach, Casini, and Urban were selected to be the architects for the large project due to their experience with other churches in the area.
The newly constructed church was completed and dedicated.
A large tornado outbreak on April 11th (Palm Sunday) all but destroyed the Quonset hut and extensively damaged the school Sunday. Thankfully, the new church building survived with only minor damage.
Fr. Robert Donohoe, who previously worked to institute Pre-Cana marriage preparation classes throughout the United States, became the 3rd pastor of St. Joseph Church.
With the forming of a new parish in Strongsville, St. John Neumann, Cardinal Hickey and the Diocesan Catholic School Building Committee made the decision to create an interparochial school to accept and serve students from both parishes. Sts. Joseph and John Interparochial School was formed.
Fr. Anthony Dodd, who had an aptitude for carpentry and fixing things, became the 4th pastor at St. Joseph Church.
Fr. Robert Sanson became the 5th pastor of St. Joseph Church.
An expansion of the church campus including the addition of meeting rooms, new offices, and a gathering space named the Holy Family Center (HFC) was completed.
A renovation to update the altar and move the baptismal font from the back of church up to the front was completed.
A renovation of Mary House was completed by a team of parishioner volunteers who donated all the materials and labor.
Fr. Joseph Mamich became the 6th pastor of St. Joseph Church.