St. Joseph Catholic Church, 520 E. Northview, has been part of the McPherson community since the early 1880’s. Father Dwight Birket is the current pastor of St. Joseph’s (along with St. Bridget of Sweden Catholic Church in neighboring Lindsborg, KS). Father Birket began his assignment as pastor in July 2011.
St. Joseph’s can trace its beginning to Father Nicholas Fowler, who was assigned by Bishop Miege to minister to the Catholic community in the McPherson area. Father Fowler established the foundation of what was to become St. Joseph Catholic Church. The first congregation consisted of five families and 15 members. Today, the parish includes approximately 500 households.
By 1949, when St. Joseph’s dedicated the church on south Chestnut Street, the congregation included 137 families and 400 members. In 1955, St. Joseph Catholic School was dedicated with an attendance of 10 students. A mission parish, St. Bridget of Sweden, was established in Lindsborg, KS in 1982.
The McPherson parish moved into a new facility that included the school, parish offices and priest’s residence, in 1991. The church worship space was completed and dedicated in 1997. The current facility was then remolded and expanded to include a parish hall, gym, additional classrooms and school space, as well as a chapel and beautiful bell tower. This expansion was complete in the spring of 2011.
St. Joseph’s is an active Christian community whose members seek to know God better through worship and scripture as celebrated in the liturgies of Sunday and weekday Masses. Its parishioners strive to live as Stewards of their time, talents and treasure and acknowledge that all these are gifts from God.
St. Joseph’s has long engaged in the mission of education by supporting a parish school for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. St. Joseph Catholic School provides academically disciplined, state-accredited education for its students in a God-centered, Catholic environment. Peggy Bahr is the principal.
The church also offers Angel Depot Pre-school for 3- and 4-year olds. A Parish School of Religion (PSR) program is also offered for students (K-12) who do not attend the parish school. The mission parish of St. Bridget of Sweden operates Little Kingdom Learning Center in conjunction with St. Joseph School for 3 and 4 year old students.