St. Joseph Church is currently undergoing another
transformation.  When time permits, this page will be updated with photos and descriptions of the work being preformed.

Here is a link to a page at the website of Watson Pipe Organ Company, showing the work being done to repair the 1896 Lancashire-Marshall Pipe Organ.



Dear Parishioners,
Recently our parish was the beneficiary of a very generous bequest by a gentleman who, though not a parishioner, frequently attended Sacred Heart Church. Robert Flaherty had a great devotion to Saint Andre Bessette, whose mural adorns our church and which he funded. His gift has enabled us to do some extraordinary things we would normally be unable to do. With the permission of the Bishop and our trustees, this money will be used in three areas:
Day Care Center
Many of you may be surprised to know that Saint Joseph Church owns a building on the site of the former Saint Patrick Church which is rented to Rogy Day Care Center. Recently we installed new rain gutters and this past winter saw the breakdown of their furnace. In addition to repairing the furnace new windows will be installed and the lighting improved. Up until now we have not had the necessary funds at Saint Joseph to make any major repairs at this site.
Saint Joseph Church
Last November, when the tornado hit our area, the steeple of Saint Joseph Church did not escape the ravages of the strong winds. It’s hard to see from the ground but there are areas where all the shingles have blown off and bare wood is exposed. This has led to water coming into the bell tower as well as into the foyer of the church. As you can imagine, this is quite a costly undertaking.(Please note a picture of some of the damage.) Work will begin in October and take up to two months.
In addition, this bequest has enabled us to install restrooms under the choir loft, a janitor’s closet with a sink, and a new confessional. Right now there is no water supply in the church. Each week as the church is cleaned, water has to be carried over from the hall to wash the floors, no matter how inclement the weather may be.
Many of you have probably noticed that the handicap ramp has badly deteriorated. It has been repaired numerous times in the last few years but it is crumbling. A new handicap ramp that meets ADA requirements will be installed with new railings next Spring along with new side doors. Finally, the historic organ will be rebuilt. Work will begin in August and be completed in two years.

Catholic Education
Even though neither Sacred Heart nor Saint Joseph Churches have a school, we are nonetheless responsible to do what we can to help fund Catholic education. This bequest has given us the unique opportunity to make a generous grant to Saint Mark Catholic School - which is a part of our cluster parish, Holy Family Catholic School - where a number of our parishioners attend, as well as to Peoria Notre Dame High School. The total amount being given is 25% of the bequest.
We are able to do all the above because of the generosity of one man. If it wasn't for him, we could never accomplish what we intend to do. Some may question the wisdom of how this money is being used, others may ask why isn't it going to the sandwich program or to Sacred Heart Church. Truthfully, there are many areas that are deserving of these funds. Thanks be to God and the generosity of many people, not only is the sandwich program able to do all that it does in feeding hundreds of people a day, so too is Sacred Heart Church. Your weekly contributions enable us to take care of the ordinary expenses in running both parishes, so I encourage you to continue your weekly offerings. This bequest, however, enables us to do something which, up to now, we could only dare to dream about. Please remember Robert Flaherty in your prayers. Blessed are those who have died in the Lord, let them rest from their labors for their good deeds go with them. (From Vigil for the Deceased)
Fr. Larry



Some of the Repairs Needed at St. Joseph
please click on thumbnails to see larger images



Interior Renovation Projects
New Confessionals New Confessionals
please click on thumbnails to see larger images



Exterior Renovation Projects
New Confessionals New Confessionals
please click on thumbnails to see larger images




New Cross Installation 6-3-2015
New Confessionals New Confessionals
please click on thumbnails to see larger images




Taking Down The Cross Video






Watch The Drone Video Here






SAINT JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH
 PEORIA, ILLINOIS

A MUST SEE HISTORICAL LANDMARK

RETURN TO THE 18TH & 19TH CENTURY

FIRST MASS IN PEORIA 1721

INITIAL CHURCH WAS ST. JOSEPH 
 STARTED IN 1852.

1ST CHURCH WAS
 50 FEET X 32 FEET X 16 FEET HIGH.

IN 1856 A STEEPLE WAS ADDED

THE CHURCH WAS UNDER THE CHICAGO DIOCESE UNTIL 1877 WHEN THE PEORIA DIOCESE WAS OFFICIALLY FORMED.

APRIL 20, 1879 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.

IN 1929 THE ORIGINAL BRICK WAS COVERED WITH IMITATION STONE CALLED SHAMROCK.

THE WOOD ALTARS WERE CARVED 
BY A GERMAN MASTER.

THE FRESCO PAINTING WAS DONE 
BY ARTIST, FRANK DIRKSON.

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.

IN 1960 THE ORGAN, IN NEED OF REPAIRS, STOPPED PLAYING. 

IN 1980 IT 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".

IN APRIL, 2005 A FIRE ALMOST 
DESTROYED THE CHURCH

IN NOVEMBER, 2005 THE CHURCH COMPLETELY RESTORED WAS OPENED AGAIN UNDER THE CARE OF THE FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST PROVINCE WHO ALSO CARE FOR SACRED HEART CHURCH


WALK INTO THE PAST. 

YOU'LL SENSE AND
HEAR THE BUILDERS OF THIS LANDMARK.:
IF YOU LISTEN REAL CLOSE.


FRANCISCAN STAFF:

FR. LARRY ZUREK, O.F.M., Pastor

FR. LUIS APONTE-MERCED, O.F.M.
Associate Pastor








NavArrow1


facebook pageDonations

Website Designed by Fr. Luis Aponte-Merced, O.F.M. & David M. Parr © 2015