About Our Parish
Since the earliest settlers in the territory now known as Bee County were Irish Catholics, the first clergymen to administer spiritual guidance to the people were Catholic priests. The earliest records of Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Beeville are dated 1876 but the actual parish history, however, goes back a number of years beyond that date. As early as 1848, various priest were administering the sacraments in local ranches. The Rev. Charles Doherty started a project in 1882 that culminated in the building of a church in 1891 at the present location of Saint Joseph's Church. Father Raymond Monclus was appointed Pastor at St. Joseph's on April 17, 1893 and he arrived he took on the task of building the priest's residence in 1904.
In 1894, the Sisters of Divine Providence arrived and assisted the administration of the church's needs. A one room school was established in 1896 and it eventually became the two story building known as St. Mary's Academy. The academy survived the storm of 1916 and also a minor fire in 1918 but a fire in 1930 proved to be disastrous. The school faced a major crisis. The Congregation collected $4,900.00 in fire insurance and offered it to the parish to build a new school and a Sister's home. A contract was drawn up between the parish and the Sisters of Divine Providence dated March 1931 that sealed the fate of St. Mary's Academy and brought into being St. Joseph's Parochial School. The sisters served Beeville for eighty years , but on April 26, 1976, it was learned that the Sisters of Divine Providence were leaving St. Joseph's School.
In 1916 the church was severely damaged by a hurricane that blew the church over to one side that left it unsafe to hold mass. The church was torn down and rebuilt as a temporary arrangement which lasted ten years. The replacement church was built in 1927 and dedicated on November 27, 1927.
Father Raymond Stocker who served pastor (1936-1950) had a beautiful Wick's organ was installed in the church. It was also during Father Stocker's tenure that St. Joseph's Parochial School was built. In 1956, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Dougherty, Sr. built the cafeteria cum auditorium in memory of their son James who was killed in action in world War II. In 1972, at the direction of Msgr. Harold Palmer (1950-71) the exterior stucco of the church was refinished and a new roof put on. The interior was decorated and the beautiful stained glass windows, donated by various families, were installed.
St. Joseph Church Golden Jubilee was celebrated in 1977 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the new church built in 1927. At that time, Father McNaboe noted in his letter to commemorate the occasion that the parish community had grown from sixteen families in 1896 to eighty in the 1930's to six hundred families at the time of the jubilee.
On September 21, 1977 a formal request was made to the newly elected Mother General Catalina Civit, O.P. of the Missionary Sisters of St. Dominic headquartered in Rome to send Sisters to our parish. The Domican Sisters served St. Joseph for twenty five years from 1978 to 2004 in various capacities including teaching at the parochial school. The Parochial School was closed due to financial constraints.
Father John Killeen arrived as pastor of St. Joseph's Church in 1983. In 1989, the new church built in 1927 was deemed unusable for parish use and Bishop Gracida authorized demolition of the building on January 23, 1989. Construction began August, 1991 and formal dedication of the new church building was October 3, 1992. Bishop Rene H. Gracida celebrated the dedication service to the seven hundred and sixty nine registered parish families.
At the direction of Father Patrick Donohoe a new parking lot was constructed and in 2010 the Church was renovated the church to its present day look. In 2011 Fr. Richard Gonzales was named Pastor.
Priest Assigned to St. Joseph
Rev. Charles Doherty, OMI 1882-1890 Frist Residential Pastor
Rev. A. E. Antoine, OMI 1892
Rev. Raymond Monclus, OMI 1893 Pastor
Rev. E Ylla
Rev. J. Oliva
Rev. A.P. Flecher, OMI 1904-1906
Rev. H.M. Janvier, OMI 1904-1906
Rev. Isidore Tresch, OMI 1904-1906
Rev. J. Magnam, OMI 1904-1906
Rev. Juan Coma 1907-1916 Pastor
Rev. F. Monill
Rev. R. Serrano, OMI
Rev. Joseph Rovre
Rev. Isidore Cavazos
Rev. Thomas de Leon
Rev. Michael Menes
Rev. Benito Gonzales, C.P.
Rev. John Richard Putrill 1916-1918 Pastor
Rev. Timothy Fitzpatrick, C.P. 1917
Bishop Paul J. Nussbaum 1917
Rev. Peter Hanley, C.P 1918-1923
Rev. Felix Marsinko, O.F.M.
Rev. Dominic Fournier, C.P.
Rev. Edward Kramer 1923-1924 Pastor
Rev. John Walsh 1924-1925 Pastor
Rev. Msgr. John J. Mannon 1925-1928 Pastor
Rev. Daniel A. Laning 1929-1936 Pastor
Rev. Raymond Stocker 1936-1950 Pastor
Rev. Msgr. Harold Palmer 1950-1971 Pastor
Rev. Charles McNaboe 1971-1979 Pastor
Rev. Msgr. Robert Clark 1979-1980 Pastor
Rev. William Gough 1980 Pastor
Rev. William Kelly 1982-1983 Pastor
Rev. Sean Noone 1983
Rev. Msgr. John Killeen 1983-1994 Pastor
Rev. Krzysztof Baunta 1989-1990 Parochial Vicar
Rev. Virginio C. Vazquez 1993 Parochial Vicar
Rev. John Wojtascyk 1994 Administrator
Rev. Michael De Leon, O.S.B. 1996 Priest in Charge
Rev. Timothy Kinast 1997-1998 Administrator
Rev. Patrick Donohoe 1998-2011 Pastor
Rev. Joseph Varghese 2001-2003 Parochial Vicar
Rev. Lowery Ross 2003 Parochial Vicar
Rev. Richard Gonzales 2011-Present Pastor