History of St. Joseph's
In 1990, local Catholics devoted to the traditional Latin
and Sacraments consulted with Bishop Foley, then Auxiliary
Bishop of Richmond, about a weekly Tridentine Mass according
to the guidelines of our Holy Father, John Paul II's 1988
indult, Ecclesia Dei. In a subsequent meeting,
Bishop Walter F. Sullivan (now retired) responded in
December of 1990 that he would allow a weekly Tridentine
Mass. This permission was initially granted for its celebration in an existing parish, but was soon extended
to the creation of a separate Latin Rite community. In 1991
the previously abandoned St. Joseph's Villa Church was
proposed and accepted as the new site of St. Joseph's
traditional ministry of the Roman Catholic Church.
Father Adrian W. Harmening, OSB, graciously accepted the assignment as Pastoral Vicar and has been our
spiritual leader ever since. Under his leadership, many
souls have converted or returned to the faith. He has
obtained for us other Sacraments according to the
traditional rites, including Baptism, Penance and Matrimony.
He instructs newcomers and old-timers in matters of faith
and inspires us to live Catholic lives according the laws of
God and His Church.
Our church experienced rapid
growth in the first few years of its existence. It has
continued to expand as new individuals join us and families
raise their children in the Catholic life and worship of St.
Joseph's. We began a new chapter in our own building when we
relocated to an extensive facility on 20 acres of land on
Buford Road in 2002. At this time Bishop Sullivan
announced that he was creating St. Joseph's as a true parish
and we would no longer be a mission.
In 2011 Bishop DiLorenzo announced that the Fraternity of Saint Peter would
be continuing the work begun by Father Adrian. In July, the FSSP sent
Father Novokowsky to become the second pastor of St. Joseph's parish.