Parish History

St. Joseph Parish dates back to 1879 when the first church was erected as a mission of St. Mary, Help of Christians, in Winfield. The parish buildings, circa 1907, included a convent, a new church and a rectory – all along 30th Avenue.The current rectory was built in 1928 and the current convent building in 1938. Here’s a brief look at St. Joseph Parish through the years . . .

Timeline of St. Joseph Parish


  • Astoria known as the German settlement
  • Steinway Piano Factory moves to Astoria
  • First Mass in the Parish of St. Joseph celebrated on 38thStreet
  • Bought property on Grand Avenue and Stemler Street (30th Avenue and 44th Street) for $750 under Bishop John Loughlin
  • First Pastor – Rev. Francis Pauletigi


  • Second Pastor – Rev. Cyprian Eisele
  • Purchase of property on Grand Avenue and Grace Street (30th Avenue and 43rd Street)
  • Arrival of Sisters of St. Dominic
  • First records of First Holy Communion and Confirmation
  • Rosary Society organized
    Sodality organized for young women


  • Opening of first parish school
  • Opening of parish convent


  • Present-day church built and dedicated by Bishop Charles McDonnell
  • Holy Name Society organized


  • Third Pastor – Rev. Peter Henn
  • Building of three-story brick school


  • Stained glass windows added to church
  • Addition of bell tower to church building
  • Rectory built
  • Organization of Religious Education Program
  • New Parishes of Precious Blood, Immaculate Conception, and St. Francis change boundaries of St. Joseph Parish


  • Fourth Pastor – Rev. Sylvester Higgins
  • New convent completed
  • Parish Brigade organized
  • Founding of St. Vincent de Paul Society


  • Fifth Pastor – Rev. Ulick Buckley
  • Men and women of St. Joseph Parish give their lives in WWII & are memorialized in a plaque on the front of the church building
  • Sodality begins yearly parish musicals and shows


  • Sixth Pastor – Rev. Richard McHugh
  • Addition of new wing to school and building of auditorium
  • Anniversary with Archbishop Thomas Molloy
  • Addition of Community Room to convent
  • Church undergoes major renovation


  • Seventh Pastor – Rev. Joseph Hammond
  • Implementation of Second Vatican Council
  • Religious Education Program for physically challenged
  • Home School Association organized


  • Eighth Pastor – Rev. Msgr. Edward Offenheiser
  • First Deacons ordained for St. Joseph Parish
  • Celebration of 100th Anniversary with Bishop Francis J. Mugavero
  • Success of parish bazaar and fundraisers
  • Italian Community is formed


  • Ninth Pastor – Rev. Msgr. George J. Ryan
  • Implementation of Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
  • Installation of air conditioning in church
  • Updating of parish census
  • Opening of food pantry
  • Hispanic Community is formed


  • St. Joseph School receives national “Award of Excellence” twice
  • Blessing of new church doors in honor of Msgr. Offenheiser
  • Major capital campaign organized to raise funds for church renovation
  • Major renovation of church and re-dedication by Bishop Thomas V. Daily
  • Summer Camp for parish children begins
  • Parish festivals and shows


  • Celebration of 125th Anniversary with Bishop Thomas V. Daily
  • Tenth Pastor – Rev. John P. Harrington
  • Re-placement of the tabernacle at the center of the church sanctuary
  • Outdoor parish re-enactment of Via Crucis on Good Friday and traditional Eucharistic Procession on Corpus Christi begin again
  • Annual parish carnivals in honor of St. Pio sponsored by Italian Community become major parish fundraiser


  • Eleventh Pastor – Rev. Vincent F. Miceli