(During the Year of St. Joseph, The Catholic Messenger is featuring churches whose patron saint is St. Joseph.)
Location: St. Joseph Church in Wellman is located in northwest Washington County and is part of Holy Family Parish. St. Joseph, which has about 100 families, celebrates Mass each Saturday at 5 p.m. Its pastor is Father Bill Roush.
History: Father H.J. Pfeiffer, who was pastor of St. Mary Parish in Keota, brought up the idea for a new church. On May 7, 1912, St. Joseph was established in the northwest corner of Wellman. The church’s cornerstone was laid Sept. 12 and the first Mass was celebrated in the unfinished red brick church on Christmas Day that year. The parish dedicated the church on June 26, 1913.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, attendance at the church started growing again, which necessitated an addition or new church. Dr. Jay and LaVerna Miller donated three lots in the new Maplewood Park Addition for the new church. Groundbreaking was June 26, 1961, and dedication was June 26, 1962. Volunteers donated their time, labor and materials to build the brick and concrete church, with seating for 275 people. It includes a full basement with kitchen facilities and dining hall. Father Martin Manning was the pastor at the time. The cornerstone of the church reads “St. Joseph’s Church. Built by parish labor.”
In 1978, the parish added four classrooms in the basement and a large, open room and in 2003 remodeled the kitchen and added a handicap-accessible walkway. The vestibule was enlarged and an upstairs restroom was added in 2014.
On July 1, 2021, St. Joseph Parish in Wellman merged with St. Mary Parish in Riverside and Holy Trinity Parish in Richmond.
Year of St. Joseph: On Sept 11, 2021, Bishop Thomas Zinkula celebrated Mass with the parishioners of St. Joseph Church and blessed a newly refurbished statue of “St. Joseph the Worker.”