The history of St. Joseph's begins in the fall of 1922 with the opening of the original church on the property now occupied by the Saint John Airport. Thomas McGrath of Fairvale was employed to build the church and rectory. Bishop LeBlanc held the official dedication on June 4th 1923.
This area was chosen as the site for a new church to accommodate a shift in population from the outlying areas such as St. Martins and the surrounding towns and villages. The dwindling shipbuilding and fishing industries forced many families to relocate to larger centres such as Saint John.
Our first Pastor was Rev. Harold Coughlan. Father Coughlan initiated the construction of the church, and served the Parish for 5 years. Father Harold Ramage followed departure of Father Coughlan and served for two years.
In 1929, Father Joseph Floyd joined us from the Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception and stayed until 1937. An interesting note: Father Floyd's family owned land around Treadwell Lake, close to the airport. It had been divided into 10 lots, with the stipulation that the occupying families remain churchgoing Catholics.
Father James E. Brown took over next, and in 1940 new appointed Bishop Bray visited and erected new Stations of the Cross. These stations were purchased with donations from members of the congregation. Also in 1941, a statue of St. Joseph (weighing 1,100 pounds) was brought in from Montreal. This statue can be seen still standing proudly at the current St. Joseph's. The following year, Father James Hanebry came to St. Joseph's, ushering in a new era for the little church at Loch Lomond.
Over the next few years, it became apparent that the City of Saint John needed an airport. The only area large enough to suit their needs was the land that included the area where St. Joseph's church stood. With this event, came a decade of dispute over land value, and the city building the airport around the church property. In the meantime, the Diocese purchases 23 acres of land from the nearby Johnston family, with aspirations of building a new church.
Finally in 1952, a deal was made for the city to buy the property for $42,500. Part of the deal, was that the church stay functional until a replacement was built. Architect John L. Feeney designed the current church with a few revisions before being built by Edward J MacNamara of Lakewood. The rectory was built first, and Father Hanebry moved in, while the church was nearing completion. The new St.Joseph's church would seat 400, and had its first mass on September 3, 1954.
In the spring, Father M. Joseph Coughlan was appointed assistant pastor, to mainly look after the other churches in the parish. However, with the untimely death of Father Hanebry, he took over full duties until the new priest Father Simon Brennan arrived in Sept of 1964. He served 5 years and during his stay, oversaw the construction of new pews. Father Coughlan also had the challenging task of implementing the first changes of Vatican II.
Father Arthur Gilbert, who would later become Bishop Gilbert in 1974, served St. Joseph's for a short while and during his stay he established the first St. Joseph's parish council in July 1970. Father T. Gordon Kennedy replaced Father Gilbert in August 1971, and retired 9 years later, paving the way for Father John Dolan.
Father Dolan made many changes as to how St. Joseph's would run. He discontinued the Catechism at the time, for a new and more modern Canadian Catechism. This Catechism got the children more involved in the learning process, as well as the occasional participation in Masses and other gatherings. He was very successful at attracting new patrons to the church, attracting over 30 new Catholics in one year. Father Dolan stayed until 1986, then to be replaced by Father William Phillips. Father Phillips was credited with bringing in the Legion of Mary, as well as numerous upgrades to the church.
1989 would see Father Phillips move on, to be succeeded by Father Michael LeBlanc until 1995. Father Arthur Alexander would then be appointed Pastor from 1995 until 2002, when Father Bill Elliott was appointed Pastor of St. Joseph's in 2002 until 2015. Father Ralph McRae was appointed Pastor of St. Joseph's in 2015, and is currently our Pastor.