History of St. Joseph in Richmond
November 4, 2021
St. Joseph in Richmond received its first church in 1858 when Father Andrew Eustace (1857-1859), pastor of St. Patrick Parish in McHenry, built a small log church in Richmond. That church existed as a mission of St. Patrick’s for 75 years. The parish built a new church in 1899 and renamed it in honor of St. Joseph.
The parish received its first official resident pastor in 1925, Father Karl Ostenkoetter (1925-1930). The 1899 church was sold, and the priest arranged to buy an unused Protestant church, which was renovated and became St. Joseph Parish’s third church.
When Father John F. Blake (1934-1948) became pastor, Bishop Edward Hoban attached Hebron Township to the Richmond parish. That growth required a new church to be built. That church’s construction began in 1948. Father Francis J. Miller (1948-1965) completed the church. A new parish hall was available for Midnight Mass by Christmas of 1948, and the dedication of the new church building was held May 30, 1949, with Bishop John J. Boylan.
St. Joseph’s celebrated its 50th anniversary as a parish with a Mass on Aug. 15, 1975, celebrated by Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill and Father Thomas W. Neville (1970-1989). In 1995, a new parish office and religious education office were built. On March 19, 1999, Bishop Thomas G. Doran celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for the parish’s 100th anniversary.
Missionary priests serving at the parish before its first resident pastor included Fathers Michael Welby, Peter Gormley, John Wayes, John Kilkenney, G. Prendergast, P. Smith, and James Meagher.
Administrators included Fathers Harry Riley (1969), Rodel Peji (2003-2006) and Stephen Folorunso (2006-2007).
Pastors of St. Joseph Parish include: Father Peter Birch (1872-unknown); Father P. O’Neill (1876-1906); Father Paul Bourke (1906-1910); Father Daniel Lehane (1910-1914); Father Henry Hagan (1914); Father Charles Quinn (1914-1915); Father Joseph Lynch (1915); Father Martin McEvoy (1915-1925); Father John Crotty (1930-1934); Father John Blake (1934-1948); Father Edward Lehman (1965-1967); Father Clement Caine (1965-1969); Father Willis Bradley (1969-1970); Father Bruno Daukas (1989-1991); Father Joseph Kaiser (1991-2004); Msgr. James McLoughlin (2007-2011); Father Andrew Lewandowski, C.R. (2011-2014); and current pastor Msgr. Martin Heinz (2014-present).
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