St. Joseph Church History

In 1880 the people of North Plainfield found themselves in a new diocese (Trenton) and their borough as the first new parish erected therein.

In April 1882 St. Joseph’s Parish was established by Bishop O’Farrell with Rev. John F. Brady as first pastor.

Rev. Thomas O’Hanlon was the second pastor.  He purchased a lot on Manning Avenue. The cornerstone of a new House of God was laid September 24, 1882.

Rev. Nicholas Freeman, a great administrator, succeeded Fr. O’Hanlon in 1888. After two years and eight months, he was followed by Fr. James McKernan.

He greatly improved the appearances of the church’s interior but only remained for two years.

Rev. William H. Miller was then appointed to a small congregation “that had every indication of becoming a large and prosperous parish”, as Bishop O’Farrell put it.

He held a grand celebration in 1907 marking the silver jubilee of the parish but he realized the great desire of his heart when the present beautiful church was dedicated April 28, 1912.

Rev. Peter Hart and Dr. P.J. Clune followed as his successors.

In 1925, Father W. A. Gilfillan took over the reins of responsibility. He devoted his energies to the building of St. Joseph School which was dedicated with great ceremony June 15, 1930. As the first Bishop predicated the generous cooperation of Catholic people brought out the innate goodness resident in this area.

In 1934 Rev. Thomas A. Campbell, a former associate here, returned as pastor. He was to remain in that post for thirty years. He liquidated the debt, purchased and furnished a convent and completely renovated the church’s art work.

Rev. Walter J. Slattery came on the scene in 1964. While his role here was but for three brief years, he completely did over the school, put air conditioning in the church and built the new St. Joseph’s Rectory.

Monsignor Charles E. McGee succeeded Father Slattery in 1968.

Rev. William J. Haughney, became pastor on August 22, 1975. He enjoyed the same remarkable cooperation experienced by his predecessors. With it, the Marian Shrine was erected, parking lot was further extended, a new side door and ramp provided, the sanctuary revamped and recarpeted, a new concrete floor for the parish hall, three garages erected,  fencing and paving for school yard and  repainting of the exterior and interior of our lovely parish church.

Fr. Terrance Lawler was named pastor next, then
Fr. Andrew Cogan and then
Fr. John (Jack) J. Casey

Father George Farrell was appointed as administrator on June 19, 2007 by Bishop Paul Bootkoski.

After some meetings with parishioners and school parents it was decided that the best choice for the parish was to close the school. In June of 2008, St. Joseph School had its final graduation. In December of 2009 the school was sold to the Sisters of Mercy to be used for the McAuley School for Exceptional Children.

With the closure of the school and the closing of the parish convent, the parish offices and Relgious Education Classes were moved to the former convent  now the St. Joseph Parish Center in September 2008. With the renovation and opening of the parish center, daily Mass is celebrated in the chapel, which seats 45 people.  There are five meeting rooms in the parish center which allows for multiple meetings. Previously we were limited to 2 meeting rooms in the basement of the rectory.

Father George was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish on July 31, 2008.


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Mass Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Vigil: 4:00 pm

Sunday: 9:00 am, 11:00 am

Weekend Masses In Español

Sunday: 12:30 pm

Weekday Masses

M - F: 12:10 pm - Chapel

Holy Days

12:10 pm, 7:00 pm

Corner of Watchung Avenue and Jackson,
North Plainfield, NJ 07060
(908) 756-3383
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