Our humble beginnings date back to the early 1900s when Catholics in Lincoln Park assembled in an art studio on Comly Road to celebrate the Eucharist. Our congregation was too small to sustain a parish, so in 1922 the Franciscan Friars built the Mission of St. Joseph’s and ministered to our people for the next 23 years. Also in 1922, Lincoln Park was established as a separate municipality.
The growth of our area became apparent. Recognizing this growth, Pope Pius XI created the Diocese of Paterson in 1937. The Pope appointed Bishop Thomas Henry McLaughlin to head the new Diocese. Bishop McLaughlin determined that the Lincoln Park community was in need of a resident Pastor, and he named Father John Hewetson, our first Pastor. Father’s indefatigable efforts not only built up St. Joseph’s Parish, but also led to the launch of a Mission in Pequannock, which later became Holy Spirit Parish in 1949.
Father Francis Warlikowski succeeded Father Hewetson, and our parish flourished as Lincoln Park’s population grew from 2,086 (1940) to 6,084 (1960). Sisters of the Holy Family joined our team to staff St. Joseph’s School, which opened in 1952. In 1957, St. Joseph’s Church was enlarged to accommodate our growing membership.
In 1962, Father William King became Pastor and served in this capacity for the next 23 years. In addition to integrating the changes and reforms of the Second Vatican Council, Father King faced his greatest challenge when he restored both the parish and community after the devastating flood of 1984.
Bishop Frank Rodimer appointed Father Dennis Hogan as Pastor in October 1985. At that time, we returned to our Franciscan roots when the Franciscan Sisters joined Father Hogan to serve the parish. Insufficient funds and low enrollment resulted in the closing of St. Joseph’s School in 1989; however, our religious education program thrived.
Fr. Hogan served as pastor for 19 years until his death in June of 2004. Effective November 1, 2004, Father Philip LeBeau succeeded Fr. Hogan as pastor.
Fr. LeBeau served as pastor for the next 10 years until his death in August of 2014.
Fr. Thomas Mangieri was our Parish Administrator beginning in February 2014, and was named Pastor in June, 2016.
St. Joseph’s parishioners look to the next millennium with confidence. Guided by the principles of Stewardship, we continue the work of building the Kingdom of God on Earth.