|In 1853, Father Croke rented a building on the
corner of Church and Chemeketa Streets. It served as a church
until 1864. In 1863, the sisters of the Holy Names bought the
building, and it became Sacred Heart Convent.
On September 7, 1863, Sacred Heart Academy opened with 80
students. Mass was celebrated there until a new church was
dedicated on April 10, 1864. The seating capacity was 300.
It was named St. John's Church.
In 1889, a second church built and dedicated on March 24th
of that year. It was located on the corner of Chemeketa and
Cottage Streets. It was renamed St. Joseph's since Oregon
City already had a church named St. John's.
In 1941, a six-room classroom building was dedicated on the
Winter Street side of the block. Three classrooms were added
on the south end of the school in 1950. (Two new classrooms
and a new library were built in the remodeling of the school
St. Joseph's grew until the present church was dedicated
on March 19, 1953. The church is located on the northwest
corner of Chemeketa and Winter Streets.
St. Joseph's parish accounts for more than 3,500 families
- 1,500 of which are Hispanic.
The teaching of good family values and the willingness to
meet the challenges of an inner-city church keep St. Joseph's
and active and integral part of Salem.
When asked what made St. Joseph's a unique church, Father
Gimpl replied, "It is the combining of the cultures we
have here. We are Anglo, Hispanic, and Vietnamese. And we
all blend quite well together."
Compiled by William Glennen
Timeline of Church History and materials of reference provided
by Father Gimpl, St. Joseph's Church on November 19, 2002