Our Parish History: The New Convent

This is the ninth article in a series.  Here are the links for the first eight parts:

Our Founding: June 12, 1953
The First Parish Meeting
Our First Christmas
The First Rectory, Part I
The First Rectory, Part II
Ground Breaking!
The First Convent
Church and School

On March 15, 1959, at a meeting of Father Hennegan and the parishioners, an Executive Committee was established and given the responsibility of planning a fundraising campaign for a new convent.  The cost of such a building program was approximately $100,000.

Executive Committee for Convent Drive

Executive Committee for the New Convent

Mr. James J. Canavan was the general chairman of the Executive Committee. The Committee divided the entire parish into six districts and appointed a chairman for each district.  In addition, the Executive Committee solicited the aid of Special Donor Solicitor Teams to approach some of the parish for special gifts.  The Special Donor Teams recruited pledges totaling $24,615 and at a dinner held on February 18, 1960, all the volunteer workers were instructed in the Program and assigned sections of the parish.

Through the dedication and tireless efforts of all these solicitors, it was possible to announce in February 1961 that the goal of $100,000 had been reached.

New Convent

New Convent

The ground for Saint Joseph Convent was broken on the feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 1961, and by July 31, 1961, Father Hennegan blessed the new convent and the Sisters took occupancy on the same day  Also, on Thanksgiving Day of 1961, Father Hennegan solemnly blessed and erected the Stations of the Cross that were given to the Sisters by the Holy Name Society.

Excerpts from the Saint Joseph Church, Cheltenham, Silver Jubilee Memorial Book
(written in 1978 by Rev. John B. DeMayo)

Next week: The New Rectory