Parish Beautification

We thank God that we have a beautiful church that has served us (and those before us) very well. Many people have met Jesus in worship in the sacrifice of the Mass at St.  Joseph since our church was built in 1967. 

But at the same time parishioners have asked if we could invest in our  worship space to manifest the church more clearly as the “house of God and gate of Heaven.” As you know, our parish exists to form disciples of Jesus. We seek to  follow Jesus so closely that the “dust of His feet” covers our faces and our lives (we order our lives around Him). And at the heart discipleship stands worship: we  worship our Triune God! But as human beings we worship God through our  senses. And just like singing, reading, and preaching affect our worship, so do art  and architecture. For this reason, the Second Vatican Council asked that church  art and architecture be composed of “signs and symbols of heavenly realities”  (SC 122) to show that Heaven touches earth in our worship at Mass. Similarly,  Saint John Paul II wrote that Christian art and architecture can become a “in a  sense, a sacrament” that reveal God’s presence on earth. I am grateful to the work of the “renovation committee” and excited about the proposed plan for the  church. I pray that we may meet God in the Mass, so that, transformed by Him,  we may become more and more “salt” and “light” for our community.  Fr. Pieter van Rooyen 

If you feel called to donate toward this project, you can write a check with “Renovation”  on the memo line or click on the donate button below. 

Please contact Deacon Gary Perrydore with any other questions.



Some highlights about the design, from the Architect, Philip Breckler: 

In the sketch below the “back altar,” also called the “reredos,” stands out. The design is called a “triumphal arch.” This traditional design in church architecture borrows from ancient  Rome: emperors erected arches like these as monuments to celebrate their military victories; and after Christianity grew churches quickly adopted this design to proclaim Christ’s victory  over sin and death: no mere man marches through the gate, but Christ, God made Man, stands  before us present in the Eucharist, the Lamb victorious over sin who stands before the Father  and lives to intercede for us. 

The crucifix stands at the center of the “arch,” in the place of the arch’s keystone, in the central apex that unifies the two opposing forces and holds them in equilibrium: through the sacrifice of Christ, God redeemed the world. The cross stands at the center of history. 

The three red panels within the “reredos” show a design from around 1890 AD, which  combines a rose with the Crown of Thorns: early Christians would place roses on the tombs on  martyrs as a symbol of the Resurrection; and the Crown of Thorns symbolizes atonement. 

At the altar of sacrifice (the central altar), we are witnesses of Christ's redemptive action  and given the opportunity to offer ourselves to God the Father, through the Son, in the Holy  Spirit, so above the central altar (on a ceiling panel) will be a painted depiction of the Holy Spirit who prays in us and joins us to Jesus and sons and daughters of the Father in worship. 

Around the altar on the walls of the sanctuary, subtle stenciling will remind us of the  life of the Saint Joseph. Through Joseph’s lineage, Jesus fulfilled God’s promise to give us the  savior through the family tree of David; we also see a lily, a symbol of Joseph’s purity and eventual resurrection in Christ, and Joseph’s “carpenter’s square” throughout the design.