103 Richard Pryor Pl., Peoria, IL
(Mailing Address: 504 Fulton St., Peoria, IL 61602)
Saturday 4:00 P.M. in English
Sunday 7:30am in Spanish
Tuesday thru Friday 6pm in Spanish
Saturday: 3:00pm in English
Sunday: 7:00am in Spanish
Tuesday thru Friday: 5:30pm in Spanish
A MUST SEE HISTORICAL LANDMARK
1693 - The Catholic faith first arrives into what is now Peoria with the establishment of the Mission of Immaculate Conception by Fr. Gravier
1845 - The first Catholic Church is built in Peoria, dedicated to St. John the Apostle and Evangelist under the patronage of St. Philomena and the community is merged into St. Mary.
1847 - The faithful (Germans) organize the parish of St. Joseph
1852 INITIAL CHURCH WAS ST. JOSEPH STARTED. 1ST CHURCH WAS 50 FEET X 32 FEET X 16 FEET HIGH.
1855 - The parish dedicates the first St. Joseph Church on Christmas day - on the same block as the current church and was built by Fr. Maurice Gipperich.
IN 1856 A STEEPLE WAS ADDED
1875 THE PEORIA DIOCESE WAS OFFICIALLY FORMED.
1876 - Fr. Baak, pastor of St. Joseph, brings sisters to Peoria to establish St. Francis OSF Hospital
1879 - On APRIL 20th THE "NEW" ST. JOSEPH CHURCH WAS BUILT AT A COST OF $26,000 , AND WAS 100 FEET X 62 FEET WIDE WITH A TOWER WHICH ROSE TO 186 1/2 FEET. ST.JOSEPH WAS BUILT IN THE GOTHIC REVIVAL STYLE.
1884 - Fr. Rotter became pastor
1889 - Fr. Rotter built the parochial school
IN 1890, THE MARIAN BELL SYSTEM, OPERATED BY PULLING ROPES BY HAND WAS INSTALLED. THERE ARE 3 BELLS, THE LARGEST WEIGHS SIX TONS AND IS THE LARGEST IN PEORIA.
IN 1896, A NEW LANCASHIRE-MARSHALL ORGAN WAS INSTALLED. IT WAS POWERED BY A WATER MOTOR PUMP. THE ORGAN COST $4,000.
1929 - The Original brick was covered with imitation stone called Shamrock, The wood altars were carved by a German Maser. The Fresco painting was done by artist, Frank Dirkson.
1960 THE ORGAN, IN NEED OF REPAIRS, STOPPED PLAYING.
1975 - St. Patrick was merged with St. Joseph and renamed St. Martin DePorres
1980 Organ WAS REPAIRED AND IS NOW WORKING.
IN 1975 ST.PATRICK CHURCH WAS MERGED WITH ST. JOSEPH, AND RENAMED AFTER ST. MARTIN DE PORRES, AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN SAINT WHO HELPED THE SICK, HUNGRY AND NEEDY OF PERU WHICH MATCHED THE GERMAN AND IRISH SPIRIT OF THE ORIGINAL CHURCH.
IN 1998 DESIGNER LIGHTING INSTALLED ON STEEPLE "FOR THE GLORY OF GOD".
2005 In April a FIRE ALMOST DESTROYED THE CHURCH. The Church was restored and placed again under the patronage of St. Joseph. In November the church was opened again under the care of the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist who also cared for sacred Heart Church.
2010 - The Sandwich program moves from Sacred Heart to St. Joseph Hall and was renamed in honor of a young girl who died Sophia. (Sophia's Kitchen)
2015 - St. Joseph Church Returns to the care of diocesan priests
WALK INTO THE PAST. YOU'LL SENSE AND HEAR THE BUILDERS OF THIS LANDMARK.:IF YOU LISTEN REAL CLOSE.