The Archdiocese's First "Mega-Parish"
As the suburban expansion began to impact the Manchester area, it was decided to relocate the parish at its present location on Sulphur Springs and St. Joseph Lane. A temporary church, eight classrooms serving 315 students, a convent, and a rectory were built on this new site. In 1965, ten additional classrooms were added to keep up with the ever-increasing population of the Parish. St. Joseph Parish became the first "mega-parish" in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It's membership grew to three times the size of the average parish. For twenty years it remained by far the largest parish in the state of Missouri.
More Expansion and Growth
Our current Church, with a seating capacity of 1000, was built in 1975. Eight more classrooms were added to the school in 1985 to keep up with the over 600 students who were then enrolled in the school.
In 1991, a beautiful new multi-purpose room was built. Two more classrooms were added and the parish and school offices were expanded.
In 1993, the parish cemetery, which is located at the old parish site on Creve Coeur Rd, was enhanced with a new entrance.
In 2012 Archbishop Robert Carlson dedicated the new Parish Center, which expanded our facilities to allow for even more exciting opportunities for the parishioners to grow in their faith.
A Proud History - A Bright Future
Thanks to the generosity of the people of St. Joseph Parish and the foresight of the leaders of the parish, St. Joseph Parish has one of the most functional facilities of any parish in the St. Louis Archdiocese.
St. Joseph Parish in Manchester provides a great opportunity to live the Catholic Tradition. There are many and various opportunities to "get involved" and to share your time and talents for the good of others.
A Contemporary Church - Rich in Tradition
The new St. Joseph Church (dedicated in 1975) is a beautiful expression of contemporary architecture and Catholic tradition. Though the church seats 1,000, the fan shaped arrangement of the pews and the sloping floor allow even those seated in the last rows to see and to be drawn into union with the priest and fellow worshippers for the celebration of the Mass.
The materials used in the structure and furnishings—brick, steel, tile on the roof of the sanctuary, travertine marble for the altar, natural wood—were selected for their permanence and allude to the permanence of God's love for man. The light streaming in the skylight reminds us of our mission to be the light of the world, to strive for holiness through an ever deeper union with our heavenly Father; for it is our nature, as a Church to be holy.
The location of the new church was chosen carefully. Standing on a hill overlooking a neighborhood, close to a road so to be clearly visible to a passerby, it is symbolic of the relationship of the Church to the community at large. The bells which call us to worship also call us to remember that redemptive grace is at work far beyond the walls of any church, as the Church, by its nature, is universal.
The contemporary design of the church building itself and the art adorning its walls are a sign to us and to the community that the Church is no mere relic of the past. Though we are rooted in tradition we treasure deeply, it is our mission, as a Christian Church, to be apostolic.