Historical Sketch

 

 

There is a record in which, as far back as 1848, mention is made of a Catholic priest holding services in Alliance.  The construction of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and of the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne and Chicago Railroads brought to Alliance a number of Catholic Irish, German and French laborers, who settle there between 1850 and 1854.  The early settlers, although few in  number, eagerly desired the administrations of their Holy Faith.  The visit of a priest from some other locality, was for them, a day of joy.

As the spiritual needs of these few families became known, they were visited more regularly by priests in their locality.  Father Bernard Carrogher was the first regular visitor.  He was stationed at St. John's, Canton.  Father Michael Prendergast, pastor of Summitville, also visited them occasionally between 1856 and 1857.

During these early visitations, meetings were held in the homes of Catholic families.  Word was sent around that a visiting Father was at one of the homes.  Arrangements were then made for the celebration of Mass.  At these joyful gatherings, instructions were given to the young; babies were baptized; confessions were heard and occasionally a marriage was performed.

BY 1858, the total number of Catholic families in Alliance amounted to 30.  At this time (1858) Father Florence D'Arcy, of Louisville, made fairly regular visits to this seed of a parish.  From 1858 to 1859, Father E.W.J. Lindesmith attended Alliance as a mission station from St. John's Canton.  He came on a week-day.  This definite visitation was the cause of real happiness to these early Catholic families.  It was the vital encouragement that was to bring to reality their dreams of a church of their own.

On May 9, 1859, Father Lindesmith rented a hall, and prepared it as a temporary place of worship.  This hall was a room over a store on Main Street known as Lamborn Hall, until the name was changed to "Catholic Hall."

Father Lindesmith's activities in his own parish at St. John's, Canton, as well as his missionary activities in surrounding places (he also rendered spiritual services at New Berlin, St. Joseph, Holmes County, Louisville, Harrisburg and Maximo) soon made it impossible for him to give sufficient time to Alliance.  So, for the next six years (1859-1865) the following priests attended Alliance as a mission:  Fathers Edward Hannin (1859-1862), Patrick Brown (1862-1864), Louis Hoffer (1864), Frederick Ludwig (1864-1865).  During the time Father Hannin had charge of the parish, he purchases two lots and had a small frame church built at the South East corner of Market and Linden.  It is said that he paid a certain Mr. Teeters $125.00  for the two lots.  Other traditions say that was the price of one lot and Mr. Teeters donated the other.  In 1862, the new church was dedicated to the patronage of St. Joseph. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From August 1865 to May 1866, Father Francis Maitrier attended Alliance from Harrisburg.  Up to that time Alliance had no resident pastor.  In 1866, Father Maitrier was changed from Harrisburg to Alliance, and became the first resident pastor of the parish (1866).  He serve the parish for almost two years and then was transferred.  Father E.W.J. Lindesmith, who had such an important part in the early pioneer works at Alliance, was now appointed resident pastor.

The early fervor and devotion that Father Lindesmith observed years before, now seemed to be lacking.  Many of the early pioneers, who showed such loyalty and devotion to the church were now dead.  In some instances their places were taken by luke warm Catholics.  Father Lindesmith noticed a general apathy.  The following episode is related in an old historical book: 

Soon after Father Lindesmith arrived, members of the congregation called on him in a body with a spokesman.  That individual said:  "You must be the meanest priest in the diocese, because the Bishop always sends us the strictest priest in the diocese."  Father Lindesmith smiled and said:  "Just wait a little while and perhaps you will change your opinion."  That opinion was soon changed, and these doubting men became the priest's best friends.

 

(to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Church

 

The Cornerstone Laying

 

On a Sunday afternoon June 9, 1940, the cornerstone was laid.

 

More Coming Soon!

 

Pastors and Assistants

Pastors at St. Joseph Parish

 

Father Frances Mortrior..................... 1866-1868

Father E. W. Lindesmith..................... 1866-1872

Father Eugene M. O’Callaghan.......... 1872

Father James Monahan....................... 1872-1875

Father Joseph Ahern.......................... 1875-1877

Father James O’Leary......................... 1877-1886

Father John MacMahon....................... 1886-1900

Father James J. Farrell........................ 1900-1904

Father F. Joseph Hopp....................... 1904-1913

Father K. P. Banks.............................. 1913-1928

Father Alfred J. Manning.................... 1928-1954

Father John Cunningham .................. 1950-1958

Father Adelbert J. Cook..................... 1958-1966

Father Robert Barrett......................... 1966-1967

Father William Hohman..................... 1967

Father William J. Kennedy.................. 1967-1971

Father Dermot Coleman.................... 1971-1973

Father John C. Finnigan..................... 1971-1984

Father Frank A. Carfagna................... 1984-1990

Father Edward L. Beneleit.................. 1990-1992

Father Homer Oliver (Administrator)....... 1992-1993

Father Donald L. Feicht……………….. 1993-2011

Father Matthew Maciej Mankowski….2011-

Assistant Pastors at St. Joseph Parish

 

Father John A. Brady............................. 1914-1916

Father James J. Gough.......................... 1916-1918

Father Cornelius J. Mahony.................... 1919-1925

Father Joseph J. Walsh........................... 1915-1927

Father James E. Maher.......................... 1927-1928

Father J. Richard Gaffney....................... 1928-1931

Father William E. Degan........................ 1931-1936

Father John P. Culliton.......................... 1933-1937

Father Joseph L. Palermo....................... 1936-1937

Father George T. Hovanec..................... 1937-1940

Father Sylverter P. Lux.......................... 1938-1939

Father Paul F. Haren............................. 1939-1941

Father Rudolph Praznik......................... 1939-1944

Father Lambert J. Andrews.................... 1943-1950

Father Edward C. Gallagher................... 1944-1945

Father Francis N. Thome....................... 1945-1950

Father Werner E. Hackert....................... 1950-1960

Father Stewart Platt.............................. 1951-1961

Father Michael A. Gawron...................... 1953-1967

Father Gerald J. Janosik......................... 1961-1963

Father John R. Lody.............................. 1963-1966

Father Conrad E. Aleckna...................... 1966-1971

Father Kenneth Sanders........................ 1967

Father George Balasko.......................... 1967-1969

Father Robert P. Reidy........................... 1969-1970

Father Raymond J. Faini........................ 1970-1971

Deacon Edward L. Beneleit.................... 1973-1974

Father Edward P. Conricote.................... 1975-1978

Father Charles F. Sarachman................. 1975-1976

Deacon Richard Matgen........................ 1978

Father James Daprile............................. 1978

Father James Fondriest......................... 1979-1980

Father A. Edward Gretchko.................... 1980-1983

Father Robert Edwards.......................... 1983-1988

 

Following Father Edwards transfer, there were no other assistants assigned to St. Joseph.

 

Reredos - Now and Then

     The reredos acting as a background for the altar, is made of inlaid woods with over fifty different types of woods being used.  These woods were brought from all over the world and selected for their beauty and variety of colors.

     The reredos, made of these woods from every part of the world, adds emphasis to the idea of the Mass as a Perpetual Sacrifice.  At every moment of the day and night the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is going on in some part of the world as predicted in Mal. 1-11:  "For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation:  for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts."

     These inlaid woods were cut and formed into six pictures, namely:  Nativity, Presentation in the Temple, Annunciation to Joseph of Flight to Egypt, Flight into Egypt, Miracle of Loaves and Fishes, and the Supper at Emmaus.

     Two of these pictures deal with scenes related to the Blessed Sacrament.  The Miracle of Loaves and Fishes prefigured the Holy Eucharist.  Christ fed many hundreds on a few loaves and fishes -- so in the Holy Eucharist He feeds all His children with His own Body and Blood.

     The picture of the Supper at Emmaus shows us Christ, who after His Resurrection sat at table with two of His disciples who did not know his identity.  They immeciately recognized Him when he broke Bread, blessed and gave to them (Luke 24, 13-31)

     The remaining four pictures deal with the Life of Christ as it effected Saint Joseph, the patron of our Church.  God delegated Joseph to protect, guide and direct the Christ Child.  In the same way, God delegates the church through the medium of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to guide and direct the Eucharistic Body of Christ into the hearts of the Faithful.  Because of this theme and the portrayal of the life of Saint Joseph in the reredos, the main altar is the Saint Joseph Altar.  A special statue of shrine to our patron would be superfluous.

     The remarkable artistry of this reredos is worthy of special attention.  It is to be remembered that no touch of paint or coloring material was used to produce the scenes portrayed.  The various colors and remarkable shadowing are brought out solely by using a variety of woods.  Hundreds of small pieces of wood were cut and laid by skilled craftsmen to produce this unique masterpiece, which is truly an artistic accomplishment.

Recent photos courtesy of Michael Skolosh Photography

 

Church Windows

1/7

Description

St. Joseph Catholic Church  427 E. Broadway, Alliance OH 44601   330-821-5760                                              Email problems or comments to  Webmaster

Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved