History

St. Joseph’s Parish began as a small community of 117 Slovak families in Endicott, who decided in 1918 to build a church of their own. They sought the help of the nearest Slovak parish of Saints Cyril & Methodius and its pastor Fr. Joseph Martinek.

From the memoirs of John M. Sochor we learn of Cyril Kotek from Moravia. Mr. Sochor writes, “When the parish of St. Joseph Church was in her infancy he graciously offered and let us have his McKinley Avenue vacant city lot as a loan to build our temporary home of the church.” Would be parishioners built a wooden church on the corner of McKinley and Greene (now Watson Boulevard). It was later moved to where St. Casmir’s stands today.

An older parishioner recalls the spirit of volunteerism when the roof was being put on and nearly completed. So many helpers had come to work on the roof, that it collapsed under their weight and the workers and boards slid into the church below. Such a humorous mishap only served to show how everyone wanted to be part of the effort. They made the benches, altar rail, confessionals and altar complete with decorations. Seating a hundred, the first Mass was celebrated here in 1923 by Fr. John Pochily, associate pastor of St. Cyril’s. By 1924 the group had chosen St. Joseph as their patron, and Fr. John was assigned as the first pastor.

Very soon the community would out grow these humble surroundings and with Fr. John, would plan the beautiful church of St. Joseph’s. The work of building the new church often paused for lack of funds, while these dedicated founders worked to meet the needs of the parish.

By 1928, the Church was assigned a new pastor, Fr. Florian Billy, the first of three brothers to serve St. Joseph’s. Fr. Florian was astute at gaining the support of local business men and worked hard with parishioners to revitalize the building campaign. In particular, George F. Johnson became much impressed with the parishioners initiative and industry and generously offering to match any individual contributions.

The parishioners worked around the clock to complete everything, even the landscaping. In May of 1930 the Bishop of Syracuse, Most Reverend J. Curley, dedicated the new church.

In 1998, St. Joseph’s parish celebrated their 75th annivesary. Joining the celebration where many dignitaries from the local community and the Diocese.

As of this year, St. Joseph’s has over 1,000 family members in our parish and continues to grow.

Through the years, the Saint Joseph’s parish has had the pleasure to have many wonderful Pastors and Religious Sisters serve in our Parish. We sincerely appreciate all that they have done for our Parish, School, and Community.

With love, gratitude and prayers, we list their names:

Pastors

1924 – 1928   Fr. John Pochily

1928 – 1934   Fr. Florian Billy, OFMC

1935 – 1939   Fr. Urban M. Koval, OFMC

1939 – 1942   Fr. Julian M. Hubal, OFMC

1942 – 1951    Fr. Anthony M. Billy, OFMC

1951 – 1957    Fr. Herbert M. Baloga, OFMC

1957 – 1963    Fr. Method M. Billy, OFMC

1963 – 1970    Fr. Alfred M. Kolodzej, OFMC

1970 – 1973    Fr. Cecil M. Hagar, OFMC

1973 – 1976    Fr. Edwin M. Mihalko, OFMC

1976 – 1981    Fr. Clarence M. O’Shea, OFMC

1981 – 1982    Fr. Stanley M. Grubitz, OFMC

1982 – 1988    Fr. Neil M. Murphy, OFMC

1988 – 1991    Fr. Anthony M. Kall, OFMC

1991 – 1997    Fr. Adam M. Keltos, OFMC

1997 – 2008    Fr. James Serowik

2008 -             Fr. Charles Opondo-Owora

The Sisters of SS. Cyril & Methodius

Sister M Alexia, Sister M. Aloysia, Sister M Aquina, Sister M Baptista, Sister M Barbara Sable, Sister M Bertilla, Sister M Cabrini, Sister M Catherine Ann Morris, Sister M Celeste, Sister M Clarissa, Sister M Clementia, Sister M Deborah Boremann, Sister M Denise Marie, Sister M Elise, Sister M Jane, Sister M Jean Marie, Sister M Joanne Marie, Sister M Joseph Therese, Sister M Laura, Sister M Linda Marie, Sister M Margaret Spindler, Sister M Marguerite Dankulich, Sister M Marilyn, Sister M Mark, Sister M Redempta, Sister M Richard, Sister M Rita Polchin, Sister M Stephanie, Sister M Susan. Sister M Venantia

The Sisters of SS. Cyril & Methodius – Deceased (as of 2004)

Sister M Agatha, Sister M Amelia, Sister M Angela, Sister M Anselma, Sister M Bernadine, Sister M Chrysostom, Sister M Catherine, Sister M Consolata, Sister M Conceptua, Sister M Demetria, Sister M Cosmo, Sister M Domitilla, Sister M Dilecta, Sister M Edwardine, Sister M Edith, Sister M Estelle, Sister M Eleanor, Sister M Emiliana, Sister M Esther, Sister M Eugenia, Sister M Genevieve, Sister M Georgeann, Sister M Germaine, Sister M Helena, Sister M Irma, Sister M Leocadia, Sister M Leonarda, Sister M Madeleine, Sister M Marietta, Sister M Matthias, Sister M Maureen, Sister M Maurice, Sister M Nazarius, Sister M Padua, Sister M Pauline, Sister M Paulita, Sister M Perpetua, Sister M Raphael, Sister M Rosina, Sister M Thecla, Sister M Thelma, Sister M Ulphia