Catholic Parish was founded in
1859 by Father Joseph Machebeuf. The first white-frame church structure
was finished in 1867 on a site on the north side of 14th Avenue near
Ford Street. Judge Jonas Johnson donated that site and in 1874 he
donated another twenty acres (where the present church complex is
located) as a cemetery and possible church site.
tiny church was the second church built in Golden. The Baptist (1866),
Calvary Espiscopal (1869), Swedish Lutheran (1870), and First
Presbyterian (1870, now the Foothills Art Center) churches also served
pioneer Golden, a one-time territorial capital and urban rival of
Denver. Golden population peaked at 2,730 in 1880 and then its
population declined when it lost the territorial capital to Denver as
well as its hopes of becoming the Colorado railroad hub. Despite the
dwindling population, St. Joseph's struggled to stay open. Thomas
McGrath became the first resident pastor in 1871, followed by Fathers
L. B. Lebouc (1872-1873), S. Duroc (1873-1881), Anthony J. Abel
(1881-1886), Martin P. O'Driscoll (1886-1888), George J. Morton
(1888-1890), and Daniel Lyons (1891). In 1891, Bishop Matz, with some
relief, turned over the poor, struggling parish to the Franciscans in
Spiegelberg, O.F.M., began an ambitious pastorate in 1891 and in 1899
built a new $8,000 brick church on the east side of the original frame
structure. The Franciscans worked to pay off the parish debt and
returned a debt-free parish to the Denver diocese in 1913.
Servant was appointed to St. Joseph Parish by Bishop Matz in 1913 and
he served until his death in 1924. He was followed by Father John P.
Moran (1924-1940) who built the mission of Christ the King (1936) in
Evergreen. Father Barry Wogan guided St. Joseph's until 1949, adding a
$19,959 hall north of the church on East Street. This hall served
Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
War II, Golden's growth finally began to match the golden hopes of its
town founders. The town grew from 3,175 in 1940 to 7,118 in 1960, and
to 12,237 in 1980. St. Joseph's parishioners were overflowing the old
1899 red brick church by October 3, 1958, when Archbishop Vehr
dedicated a new $135,000, 450-seat church. Located across East Street
from the old church, it was designed by architect John K. Monroe as a
basement church able to sustain a traditional ecclesiastical
superstructure if future growth required it.
church, rectory, hall, and grounds were sold in 1965 for $130,749 to
the Adolph Coors Company, which demolished the structures to expand its
parking lot for tourists, who came in ever-increasing numbers to
inspect the huge brewery and sample its products. Proceeds were used to
begin construction of a $227,870 eight-classroom school on the 10th
Avenue and Ulysses Street site.
Mershon (1964-1970), Monsignor Thomas P. Barry (1970-1976), Monsignor
Edward A. Leyden (1976-1977), Father George V. Fagan (1977-1982), and
several interim pastors guided St. Joseph Parish through years of rapid
growth in Jefferson County, where it had once been the only parish. St.
Joan of Arc Parish (1967) in Arvada, and Our Lady of Fatima (1958), and
Christ on the Mountain (1975) parishes in Lakewood were established to
care for newly-suburbanized areas once within the boundaries of St.
these new parishes, St. Joseph's continued to grow. Angelo Ossino, who
became pastor on July 1, 1982, began working with the Council on plans
for a new parish plant on the twenty-acre expansion site on the north
side of the Golden Cemetery, which Judge Johnson had donated in 1874.
The result is a $1.6 million church and rectory. For the October 19,
1986 dedication, a procession of parishioners carried the crucifix from
the old church to the new. The old cornerstone and church bell of the
1867 church were also brought to the new site and placed at the outside
The church is
pinned to a hillside by more than 150 caissons and designed to be warm
and welcoming, to have the earthy feeling of the nearby foothills. The
pie-shaped structure seats over 500 with no one more than nine pews
from the altar. Designed by architects Keith Ames and Associates of
Longmont, the dramatic exterior of brick and raw wood rises to a
central cone over the altar. The exterior features a solar wall and
garden, with a baptismal font just inside the main entrance. Custom
handcrafted furnishings adorn the interior, including a suspended
sculptural ceiling in the Eucharistic chapel and Stations of the Cross
carved in glass. Under its huge conical roof, the complex contains a
record vault, a reconciliation room, a chapel, offices, a gift shop,
and a kitchen.
Francis Stafford anointed the altar with holy oil, sprinkled
parishioners with holy water, and set off the smoke detectors with
clouds of incense. Parishioners thanked the archbishop with a
traditional western "Howdy!" by presenting him with a Stetson hat.
Thus, St. Joseph, the second church to be built outside Denver by
Bishop Machebeuf, became the first new Colorado church to be dedicated
by Archbishop Stafford. Excerpted from Colorado Catholicism by Tom
Noel, Copyright 1989 Archdiocese of Denver
picture of the beautiful Saint Joseph's Church!
History of St. Joseph's after the Dedication of
the Present Church
priests who have served St. Joseph Parish since its dedication in 1986
have been very dedicated to their vocation - serving with devotion and
humility. They have faithfully performed many baptisms, weddings, and
funerals. They have spent countless hours taking the sacraments to the
sick and the dying and have established a solid religious education
program for the young people of the parish. During this time several
priests have served St. Joseph Parish and have seen the parish grow to
more than 1,100 households. Fr. John Wind became Pastor in 1989 and
served until he became ill in 1996. On May 16, 1992 St. Joseph Parish
celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Church in Golden. Father John
Gibbons was appointed Administrator from December 1996 to June 1997.
Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., named Father Joseph E. Monahan
Administrator of St. Joseph Parish in June 1997. Father Monahan was
appointed Pastor for a six-year term in June 1998. Father Monahan
celebrated his 25th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood and the
Parish was delighted to be able to prepare a special social event
following his Jubilee Mass celebration. In 2004 Archbishop Chaput
renewed Fr. Monahan's assignment for six more years.
have recently served at St. Joseph Parish are Deacon Ken Dreiling,
Deacon William Ward, Deacon Leonard Polak and Deacon Dennis Kelly.
Presently serving St. Joseph Parish are Deacon Ed Clements, who was
appointed to St. Joseph's in June of 2004 and Deacon Glenn Allison,
appointed just after his ordination in June 2007.
16, 2004 Fr. Monahan held the first annual Parish Benefit Dinner, and
it is fast becoming a tradition as it was held again in 2005, 2006,
2007 and will be held in 2008 as well. Another milestone of 2005 was
the first annual "St. Joseph Service Award" which recognized eleven
exceptional volunteers within the parish community. In 2006, ten
parishioners were selected and in 2007 another ten volunteers from
within our parish community were recognized for the gift of their time
and talents to our parish. In early 2005 we added stained-glass windows
to the atrium. The stained-glass is an artistic depiction of the River
Jordan, which complements both the existing Baptismal Font and the
recently-addded John the Baptist statue. In May we also had a very
beautiful painting of St. Joseph depicting him with a young Jesus done
by parishioner Jeff Lauwers. It is placed opposite the painting of St.
Cecelia, also done by Jeff Lauwers. In 2005 several members of St.
Joseph parish were able to attend the 2005 World Youth Day in Cologne,
Germany. In 2006 a decision was made to build a new Community Center as
well as renovate the current Parish Center. The new Community Center
will house a day chapel, staff offices, a conference room, an updated
kitchen and a parish hall that will hold 250 people with a small dance
floor. The renovated Parish Center (Education Center) will be modified
to have 12 classrooms and a much needed update to the heating,
electrical and plumbing systems.The Building Committee anticipates an
early Spring 2008 ground-breaking for the first phase of the project,
the new Community Center. Existing parish funds and funds pledged by
parishioners should cover the costs of this first phase. Therefore many
fund-raising activities are anticipated throughout the next three years
in order to complete phase II, the renovation of the Education Center.
These activities should not only raise the monies necessary for our
building project but also bring us closer together as a community to
achieve our goal. While the center of our parish life is the
celebration of the Eucharist, we also believe that we must be a
welcoming community and that we must provide for the Catholic education
and social needs of our parish family and be committed to Christian
service and outreach.