Tiempo de Madurar / Tiempo de Dolor

Throughout the following 30 years, St. Joseph Parish underwent incredible growth and received tremendous blessings. St. Joseph also had a share of hardship, yet the original plan of construction of the long awaited bell tower was in store to come. The construction and expansion placed a financial burden on the Parish. Times were rough in Denver. Most of the parishioners of St. Joseph Parish were working people, many worked on railroads. In the early 1920’s, the unions struck the Rio Grande Railroad; in return, the union laid off many of it’s workers. In 1918, the traditional pew rent had been abolished and a parish association had been formed for the purpose of increasing parish revenue by 50 percent. Despite the poor economic conditions, the parish association was successful because by 1923 the parish was finiancially stable and paid off the building debt and collaborated with the Redemtorist Fathers for the constuction of a new rectory building. The rectory of 1923 still stands today and is a detailed replica of a medival monastery, the only one of its kind in the State of Colorado. It is one of the few remaining works of the famous Denver architect Jacques B. Benedict. Like the Church building and the School building, it stands as a living testimony to the strength and spitit of the people of St. Joseph Parish.

     In November of 1941, in the Thanksgiving issue of the St. Joseph’s High School newspaper, the Santa Fe, an editorial appeared which asked the students to reflect upon how much God had blessed our country in times of war. December 7th of 1941 shaped the fabric of American life along with the lives of every member of St. Joseph’s Parish. The war years were busy and painful ones for the parish. The parish hall, which in the early years had served as a school for small children, hosted those same children now fully grown who wore a uniform. St. Joseph’s Church became a center for USO activities. The women of the parish organized to teach the children skills of knitting, quilting, and the art of making scrap books. Other groups of parishioners organized themselves into a force to collect scrap metals and other materials which could be recycled in the war effort. War bond drives were regularly held in the Church basement. A colunm was begun in the Santa Fe newspaper, the purpose of which was to keep track of every member of St. Joseph’s Parish who was serving anywhere in the armed forces and to keep communications open between them and the parish where so many of their friends and families remained behind.