St. Joseph the Worker Church Time Capsule


Below are pictures of the recently recovered Time Capsule from Saint Joseph the Worker Church.   Monsignor McCormac’s Pastors Column (full text included below) will be published in this weekend’s Parish Bulletin.

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On Monday morning, October 9th, John McGrath, developer and builder, graciously brought to the rectory the “time capsule” which was retrieved from the former St. Joseph the Worker Church building’s cornerstone. Upon opening the metal box, we found the Church Bulletin for October 27, 1957, which was the Sunday before November 1st, the day on which the cornerstone was placed in the new church building. The following article appeared in the Church Bulletin:


“Our All Saints Day Masses will be held in our own school building.

The Masses will be at 7, 8, 9 and 10. The cornerstone for the church will be

laid at 11 A.M. on All Saints Day. If the weather is bad, it would be well to wear suitable

clothing for such weather, and also footwear, as it most likely will be muddy around the

building. We ask those who can walk to church, please do so, and for those, who find it necessary to drive, please park on Vermilion Drive or Thornridge Drive.”


In addition to the Church Bulletin, we also found a one page paper which reflected the historical context of the time. Among other information, it noted the following:


“The reigning Pope at this time is Pius XII.

The Archbishop of Philadelphia is the Most Rev. John F. O’Hara, C.S.C.

The Auxiliary Bishops are Bishop Joseph McShea and Bishop Carroll McCormick.

The pastor of the parish is the Rev. Paul J. Cahill.

The first assistant is the Rev. Edmund J. Rafferty.

During the last year, the assisting priests on Sunday were

the Rev. Matthew Finnegan, T.O.R, and the Rev. Joseph McGee, S.M.”


Also, found in the metal box was the October 25, 1957 edition of the Catholic Standard and Times which featured the following news items on the front page:


“The Renovated Cathedral is Reopened”

“U.S. to Receive 30,000 Italians in Next 18 Mos.”

“Subscription Drive Opens this Sunday”

“Mass in Cathedral Marks 125th Year of the Seminary”

“Religious Crisis Studied by Italians”

“N.J. High Court Invalidates Ban on Sunday Sales”


Finally, in the metal box were coins and a one dollar bill. All the coins, a penny, nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar were from 1957 and the dollar bill is a “Silver Certificate, series 1935 E” with “1957” written on the bill.


Knowing how special the contents would be to the former parishioners of St. Joseph the Worker, we are pleased to include copies of the Church Bulletin and the one page paper in today’s Parish Bulletin as keepsakes. We are also posting pictures of these items along with a picture of the front page of the Catholic Standard and Times, a picture of the coins and the one dollar bill and a picture of the metal box. These items are available to be viewed at the rectory if anyone would want to see them.


Finally, on a personal note, as I was reading the Church Bulletin and the one page paper, I could not help but think of the St. Joseph the Worker parish secretary, Mrs. Rosemary Wilson, who very probably typed this information.  This past April, I had the privilege of meeting Mrs. Wilson in the final days of her life. It was a singular honor to have met her, spoke with her, listened to her stories, administered the Sacraments of the Church and to honor her last request, namely to have her funeral Mass here in her parish. Mrs. Wilson entered eternal life on April 19, 2017 and on April 24th, I had the honor of celebrating her funeral Mass, commending her to the Lord in thanksgiving for the gift of her life, her love, her faith, and most especially her enduring love of her beloved St. Joseph the Worker Parish.

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