History of Saint Joseph’s Church
In 1904 the Parish of Saint Joseph’s was established, having Chapel of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Aptos and Sacred Heart Chapel at Del Mar Hotel, now known as Villa del Maria, as Mission. The first pastor was Fr. Patrick J. Hennessy and during his time the Church and Rectory was built at the corner of Bay and Capitola Avenues.
Saint Joseph’s stood on that corner for the majority of the century, becoming one of the prominent landmarks of the city of Capitola. In 1970 serious preparations were made for building the new Church and Parish center on Monterey Avenue in Capitola. An architect by the name of Thomas R. Richmond was hired for the development of the new site. All parishioners were invited to a meeting at Good Shepherd School auditorium where they were given the opportunity to express what they did and did not want for their new Church and hall. The Architect was present at this meeting and listened carefully to what was said.
It was not until Mother’s Day 1972 that ground was broken on Monterey Avenue for what is now known as Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church. The last mass said at the old Saint Joseph’s was on the feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 1973.
Opening Day of the new site was June 23, 1973. Four stained glass windows from the old Saint Joseph’s were installed in the Confessionals of the new Church. The carved wood statue of Our Lady of Carmel, that was brought from Spain in 1876, was transferred to Saint Joseph’s in the 1920’s, and now lives in the modern church in its own niche overlooking the congregation. The bell at the front of the property was also brought to the new site from the old site.
The Church was dedicated on February 24, 1974 by Most Reverend H.A. Clinch, D.D, Bishop of Monterey, for the Worship of God and in memory of a good and generous people. Saint Joseph’s Church was truly built by the community of God for the community of God.
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