Parishioners Love Their St. Joseph
Aurora St. Joseph
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 1, 2021
AURORA—Mary Ann Wolf was born and raised a parishioner at St. Joseph Church here.
“I’m 90 years old,” she says. “I was born here, made all my sacraments here and graduated from the school. My husband (also a St. Joseph School graduate) and I married there and I’ll be buried from there.”
He attended Marmion Military Academy and she graduated from Madonna High School. Their 11 children attended St. Joseph School and are Aurora Central Catholic graduates. Needless to say, Mary Ann loves her church.
“It’s a wonderful parish,” she says, noting how her years of bringing the Eucharist to the homebound have now evolved to her being a recipient of that gift. “You don’t feel like you’ve been to church without the Eucharist,” she says. 
Her parish, she adds, “Has just been a wonderful experience. The priests have all been very good, spiritual men. I can’t say anything bad about it.”
When Denny Monaco, a St. Joseph parishioner since 1980, is asked what makes the parish special, he immediately responds, “the camaraderie.”
“Everybody’s so friendly and willing to help each other,” he continues, noting all the pre-pandemic social gatherings that “make it fun. Hopefully we’ll get back to that.”
In the meantime, he says that he and his wife are enjoying their volunteer work “at the door, checking people off” who are coming to Mass. “We are meeting all these people and get to talk to them each week.” He feels an even greater sense of the parish community “even though we only see half their face,” Monaco says. “If there’s a good that came out of (the pandemic), this is it.”
Over his 40 years of parish life, Monaco says “all the priests have been wonderful. They all brought special gifts to the parish that we’ve continued using in our journey to see Jesus ... it’s always been exciting.”
Through constructing new buildings and making changes at the school, he notes that the “pastors have always been the leaders and always (are) trying to do things better. It’s been good.”
Rosalinda Saucedo is a newer addition to St. Joseph Parish, joining around five years ago. She says that making the parish special “starts with our priest — Father (Matthew) McMorrow.”
He has “created this environment” to bring parish members and the community together, and to make disciples of his parishioners, teaching them “to evangelize, (to) go out and spread the good word,” she says.
Her pastor, Saucedo adds, “supports our growth (and) makes it very intergenerational (and) sensitive to culture and community. He made us feel welcome, made it a home for us.”
Not just Father McMorrow, but also “parish members are very welcoming,” she says. “They are always at the entrance. They really go out of their way to know your name (and) take the time to ask how everything really is. It is very inclusive.”
She notes how there is always “something that allows the community and members to be active in the parish,” and those efforts “make it come alive.” 
The parish follows pandemic guidelines, but posted faith formation activities, held small group discussions via Zoom, and “right away (Father McMorrow) had the Mass on Facebook,” she says.
“We were there in spirit because he always made a point to reach out to us,” she says, “assured that he was always praying for his members.”
“He’s always finding ways to draw his parishioners in,” Saucedo adds. “We know he’s there, and members are there ... it is really (about) not just knowing Jesus, but (to) really get to meet Jesus.”
Val Bohr is another long-time St. Joseph parishioner, a member for 70 years.
“My husband and I were married in 1951 in the old church,” she says, adding that “we’re a wonderful unit and all work together for the success of the parish.
“It’s a very social church. People care about one another.”
She has been in charge of the parish sacristans for over 30 years, and notes that their current pastor “is so easy to work with. It’s a pleasure to donate my time there.”
She notes how the arts and environment committee decorated the parish statue of St. Joseph for this particular year honoring him, and notes again how people “all work together.”
“It’s hard to explain,” Bohr says as she continues to search for the right words on why her St. Joseph Church is so special.
“It’s the people, and it’s Father ... just a successful unit.” 
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