This is the third article in a series. Here are the links for the first two parts:
Every family looks forward to Christmas. It is a time of getting together, exchanging gifts and an outpouring of love and good cheer. Saint Joseph Parish is part of the family of God and the Church, so it was natural that the family of Saint Joseph’s would look eagerly toward their first Christmas together in 1953.
One looking back with the perspective of years, can only imagine what must have been the thoughts and feelings of those first parishioners as they gathered for their first Christmas Mass together. How like the Holy Family were these parishioners! They had no church building they could call their own, they possessed no altar but they had the most precious thing they could offer – themselves. As they gathered at Saint Helena’s Hall, the parishioners witnessed the coming again of their Lord in the Eucharist. It was a proud pastor, Rev. Francis J. Hennegan, and parishioners who listened to the Christmas carols played on the organ donated to the parish by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Brookover who, although not members of Saint Joseph Parish, endeared themselves to all by their generosity. Mrs. Brookover accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Edward Irvine of Melrose Avenue in leading the parishioners in singing Christmas carols.
Excerpts from the Saint Joseph Church, Cheltenham, Silver Jubilee Memorial Book
(written in 1978 by Rev. John B. DeMayo)
Next week: The First Rectory