History of St. Joseph

St. Joseph Church, the oldest parish in Fontana, was established in 1930.

Construction began in 1948 on the elementary school which proudly educated students in Kindergarten through the 8th grade. A gradual decline in enrollment caused the closure of St. Joseph Academy in 2003.

In 1962 the St. Joseph Youth Center was built. The complex houses the large parish social hall, offices, meeting rooms and a gymnasium.

Annually the parish feast day is celebrated in the month of March with the "St. Joseph Day Table" pasta dinner which has been prepared for many years by the Italian Catholic Federation. As many as 500 dinners are served to priests and parishioners, young and old, who come to enjoy this friendly afternoon, entertainment and a good meal! The traditional St. Joseph Day Table evolved in 2006 to a very successful multi-cultural parish picnic. In 2009 the Pastoral Council planned a special Mass in honor of St, Joseph, along with a parish pot luck, hoping to bring back an indoor meal and gathering for the parishioners to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Joseph. The popular parish picnic will remain an annual event held in the month of May

The parish celebrated its 75th Jubilee in 2005-2006 with events scheduled throughout the anniversary year and ending with a Jubilee Mass celebrated with Bishop Rutilio del Riego. Mass was followed by a grand evening of entertainment and dinner and was attended by several previous pastors, local priests, six of the Daughters of Divine Charity Sisters who staffed St. Joseph Academy, civic leaders and many faithful parishioners past and present.

Several prayer groups and organizations meet regularly during the month. The parish ministers to many cultures and is richly blessed by this blend of Gods people.

Diocesan priests staffed the parish until 1947. The Congregation of the Resurrection fathers arrived and have ministered to the people of St. Joseph until June 2008. The following month the pastoral care of the parish returned back to the Diocese and the parish is ministered to, once again, by priests of the Diocese of San Bernardino.

July 1, 2008 Fr. Luc Tran was assigned as Pastoral Administrator and on July 1, 2010 Fr. Joseph Tacitius Ellison was assigned as Parochial Vicar.

In July 2011 Bishop Gerald R. Barnes entrusted the pastoral care of the people of St. Joseph Church to the religious order priests of the Misioneros Servidores de la Palabras.