In the spring of 1900 some soon-to-be first parishioners of St. Joseph met in the Community Hall in Hainesville to discuss the possibility of beginning a new parish. Perhaps some of the names sound familiar: Amann, Richardson, Rosing, Luby, Thelan. In May of 1911 representatives of the 250 or so Catholics in the Round Lake Area petitioned Archbishop Quigley and in June of 1911 permission was granted to begin the parish and build a church structure.
The original property (160' x 250') was donated by John Rosing and the cornerstone for the wooden structure was laid September 10, 1911. The bell, donated by Mrs. Renehan, was installed in February of 1912 and the church was ready for use March 24th of that year. Rev. Anthony Berger was to be our first Pastor. He lived in the homes of parishioners until he was able to rent a cottage just south of the present rectory.
A group of concerned parishioners - including such names as Molidor, Innis, Finn and Schuemelfender - quickly searched out a religious order of sisters to staff the new school. After some effort they secured three Sisters of the Holy Ghost from Techny, Illinois. They would join us for the school year beginning 1950. The parish hall was a temporary home for our new school of 79 students.
The time had come to build the school that long ago was in our dreams. Fr. Schmitz retired and Fr. Edward Liebrich was appointed administrator in June of 1951 to help us during the process of construction. The work focused first on an auditorium that would allow us to ease the burden of masses for a growing population. Since the Sisters of the Holy Ghost were only able to assist us for a short time, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary chose to staff the growing school (274 students) and would begin in August of 1952. With much work yet to be done on a new school building, ", temporary and urgent,", seemed to be the sound our ancient church bell rang during this phase of our history.
On November 16, 1952 the parishioners rejoiced as Cardinal Stritch came to Round Lake to dedicate our new parish church and school. Finally we had a permanent home for our students and sisters and a larger space to worship God and celebrate the mass. Yes, we also had a debt, but with dedication our parishioners worked hard to accomplish the payment of the debt.
Shortly after completing the school, remodeling the rectory became our next adventure. Parishioners did the work and improved the living conditions for our pastor and for priests yet to come.
Over the years our parish has been blessed with several associate priests and deacons who contributed both in ministries and administration. At present, one deacon serves us, Joel Ruiz and another is in training.
Ministries are on the rise at our parish and lay participation is growing. The parish is dedicated to the protection of children and has taken many steps to secure the proper administration of its resources. We see ourselves as a Stewardship parish in which our hope is that all parishioners see themselves as sharers in the work of building God's Kingdom in our area, sharing generously of time, talent and treasure. We are a multicultural community and celebrate this in our daily lives and in worship. Perhaps our Parish Pastoral Council's mission statement captures some of how we view ourselves:
The members of the Parish Pastoral Council recognize as our mission: To foster a Christ-like spirit of prayer, participation, cooperation, and stewardship in all the members of our parish, to manifest unity in our parish family through respect and representation of our various cultures, to communicate and express the needs and wishes of the whole parish with thoughtful recommendations to the pastor, in the humble example of St. Joseph, our patron.