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St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church

251 Concord Rd.
Green Ridge, PA

School Phone: (610) 494-0147
Rectory Phone: (610) 497-3340

Former Priests  |   Church History  |   Membership Directory  |   School

If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about the history of this church, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com


Former Rectors


Rev. James Donnelly (Founding Pastor) - 1, 2

Rev. Carberry (followed Rev. Donnelly) - 1, 2

He passed away while stationed there.

Father Mann (into the 1950's) - 3

Other pastors:

Rev. McGuire - 2

Rev. Kelleher - 2

At this time Father Hughes, later to be Monsigneur Hughes was assistant pastor. - 1

"Rev. Edward Hughes, listed as an assistant at St. Joseph's in Aston Twp., was made a Monsignor and finally a Bishop. He was then appointed to the diocese of Metuchen, N.J., where he served until his retirement."
-George Dougherty, snackty@att.net

There was a Father James Meehan  (early 60's) - 1, 2

He resided there and taught at St. James High school.
Rev. Meehan now (2001) lives in Darby at the residence for retired priests.

Father James J. Kelly was assistant Pastor in the early 60's.

Father Arts resided there and taught at Archmere Academy.

Rev. Henry Degnan 1972-1996 Pastor - 5
Rev. Robert Vogan 1996-Present Pastor - 5

Assistant Pastors: - 5
Rev. Joseph Dieckhaus, 1974-1978, Assistant Pastor
Rev. Robert Roedel, 1978-1979, Assistant Pastor
Rev. Joseph Galanaugh, 1979-1983, Assistant Pastor
Rev. John Meyers, 1983-1984, Assistant Pastor
Rev. Msgr. Daniel Thomas, 1984-1987, Assistant Pastor
Rev. Robert Roncase, 1987-1989, Assistant Pastor
Rev. Francis Trauger, 1989-1993, Assistant Pastor
Rev. Harry McCreedy, 1993-1996, Assistant Pastor


Church History St. Joseph's was founded in 1949.

Some historical recollections courtesy of Jack Thompson: - 4

"Hi, I ran across the St. Joe's website while surfing the web. I noticed some omissions such as Fr Degnan who was at one time pastor, and Fr. Bill Jones. I will give you some info I have, but I can't assure it's accuracy.

"Fr. Donnelly heard my first confession and gave me my first communion in 1950. At that time, the church was located in Village Green, next to where there is now a MacDonald's. The church building is now an apartment building. The rectory at that time was located on Dutton Mill Rd, almost in Brookhaven. It was half way up the hill coming from Bridgewater creek. Fr Huges was the Asst. Pastor. I have no idea where you got the name of Fr. Mann. I still have a picture of Fr. Hughes mowing the lawn at the original rectory. I don't know where he went when he left St. Joe's, but I know he eventually became Supt of Archdiocesan Schools. Fr. Donnelly died while pastor at St. Joe's and was replaced by Fr. Carberry. Fr. Hughes was still there as Asst. Pastor for a short while. Fr. Carberry was already aging and in less than good health. He was not a very outgoing man but was likeable. The strangest thing about him was he had no driver's license but owned a car. It was a Lincoln convertible. His reasoning was that if he would require parish members to drive him around, he should furnish the car and gas. And it should be in style!. I served many morning masses for him. He could say his daily mass in less than 15 minutes....in latin. He had trouble genuflecting or it would have been quicker.

"Fr. Jim Meehan came in but I don't remember just when. Somewhere around 1954 or 55. He was only "in residence" since his primary job was teacher at St. James HS. He was my religion teacher there for 2 out of my 4 years. He was very athletic. Loved baseball. My Dad introduced him to golf and would take him to Chester Valley CC often. Fr. Meehan eventually joined the CC. Fr. Meehan baptized my Dad when he converted. It was rumored Fr. Meehan came from a very wealthy family. The rumor was that his father was Pres. of Breyer's Ice Cream. Not positive, but I do know his parents lived somewhere on the Phila. Main Line. He had 2 brothers who were also priests and a sister who was a nun. When the father died, he left 7 million dollars. 3 million to the Mom and 1 each to the kids. The nun had to give hers to her order, The boys elected to NOT take the vow of poverty. The one brother worked in the Vatican and gave his inheritance to one of the Vatican offices. Fr. Jim Meehan and his other brother both worked in the school system and gave theirs to by then, Aux Bishop Hughes. That is when Fr. Jim was made a monsignor, taken out of the school system and assigned as Pastor to St. John Neumann in Bryn Mawr. At the time it was the wealthiest parish in the Diocese. The rectory was a former home of Robert S. Strawbridge who donated the land for the parish. I used to visit with Fr. Meehan there. He remained there until he retired.

"Fr. Bill Jones, not on your list, replaced Fr. Hughes. "Jonesy" was very tall and had the curliest blond hair I ever saw on a man. He was well liked by everyone, but not as much as Fr. Meehan who was everyone's favorite. During a parish softball game, My Dad, who at the time was a non-Catholic, and Fr. Jones were playing on opposing teams. Both men were very competitive. Jonsey was on first when the batter hit a grounder across the pitcher's mound. My Dad was playing short-stop. Jonesy was on first base. He went for second base. The second-baseman already threw to first so my Dad moved in to cover 2nd base for a double play by standing on the bag. Dad wouldn't move and Jonesy wouldn't let him get away with it. When Jonsey crashed into my Dad he busted 3 of Dad's ribs. For some odd reason, they both thought it was funny.

"The school was started in 1952 in the church basement. When it was first opened, 2 classrooms were built. The first 2 nuns were Sr. M. Margarita and Sr. Maureen Daniel. There were 4 grades. Each nun taught 2 grades. Sr. Maureen Daniel taught GR 1&2 and Sr. Margarita taught GR 3&4. I started in 4th grade. One additional class was added each year. In 1953, Sr. Michael Roberts who is not on your list of nuns, came as the 1st grade teacher for that year until a 6th grade was finally added. I forget what year the school building was built, but I was there on day #1. At that time there was no second floor. The nuns lived in Chester at Immaculate Heart parish until the parish rented a house at the corner of Concord and Roberts Rds. This is when Sr. Margarita was appointed Mother and Principal. That's about the same time Sr. Regina Concepta came along. As I recall, she was just a young girl and St. Joe's was her first assignment. At first she wasn't too well liked. Rough around the edges in the discipline department but she eventually found a middle ground. Being a group of ladies living on their own, they were a little concerned about their safety so my parents got them a German shepherd from neighbors of ours who were moving to Arizona. His name was Gunner and his was a big, mean sucker. They quickly became very comfortable in the safety department. They were the best group of nuns you would ever encounter. Not overly pious and very down to earth and realistic with the kids. In fact, the convent became a neighborhood hang out. We used to bribe the nuns, 3 passes across the lawn with the mower for a piece of cake. The permanent convent was finally built next to the church. I don't remember what year. The Concord Rd. house was actually a duplex. The other side was used as an office by Mike Marvel, an insurance agent. He was a non-Catholic. Behind the nuns lived the Faulkners Also non-Cathoilics. But they all looked out for the nuns. Danny and Mary Dougherty were parish members and lived a block up the street at Concord and Dutton Mill Rds. They also looked out for them. Danny used to do a lot of the repair work around the convent. 

"Mother Margarita was reassigned from St. Joe's to St. Rose of Lima in Eddystone as Mother Superior and Principal. She was never made Mother Superior at St. Joes' as Fr. Carberry preferred to make the rules, which were not too confining for the nuns. She eventually relinquished her position at St. Rose of Lima and asked to be put into a high school. St. Roses's was not the same level of care and friendship as St. Joe's so she was not very happy there. She was assigned to Mt. Caramel HS in Shamokin as the Home-Ec teacher and loved it. She died there. My wife and I remained close friends with her until her death. We used to drive up to Shamokin to visit and take her out for a day. BTW, she is another religious who reportedly came from much wealth. But for all the years I knew her like a sister and sometimes a mother, she would never divulge her personal life. There was a secret there that I always respected, but she kept it to her grave. My wife and Sr. Margarita use to write bi-weekly. We found out she died when 3 letters from my wife went unanswered. I called Mt. Caramel and was then told. It's a shame that nuns used to die in such unobscurity.

"I was in the first graduating class in June of 1956. There were 11 or 13 of us. I still have the graduation photo of the entire class. I meant to send it up to the school for the 50th anniversary book, but neglected to do so. Unfortunately, I have had no contact with any of the students since then other than the boys who attended St. James at the same time I did. In fact, I'm the only member of the class of '56 registered on Classmates.com. But I think I still remember some of the names. Here goes; Mary Sue Dunlap, Pat Smith, Barbara Nagy, Barabra Wojiehoski, Emma Veratti, Regina Weber, Danny Murphy, Tommy Smith, Fred Stevens, Alan (Wayne) Muller, and me, Jack Thompson. I think I'm forgetting 2 names. both girls. I remember a very tall girl but I can't remember her name. Not sure who the other one might be. I'll have to pull out the picture to refresh my memory."

- Jack Thompson, Jackthompson42@comcast.net 


St. Joseph's School The sisters that taught there were Sister Servants of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary: - 1

Mother Margarita, IHM
Sister Regina Concepta
Sister Thomas Maureen
Sister Joseph Francis
Sister Maureen Daniel

 

Many thanks to the following for adding to the information on this page:

1 - Carol Kane (added 7/26/2000).

2 - George Dougherty

3 - Joan Salisbury Groover

4 - Jack Thompson

5 - Walt Kokol

2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 02/22/07