For Catholics in Richmond, the 50th anniversary of the completion of St. Joseph the Worker church called for a whole weekend of celebrations. From June 23-25, parishioners marked the occasion with Mass, a banquet, live performances, a tea for longtime parishioners, and a family barbecue.
St. Joseph the Worker Parish began as a Catholic mission set up by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement in Steveston in 1932. Their aim was to serve a community of mostly Japanese fishermen who had settled near the Fraser River.
St. Joseph's was established as a parish in 1949 and the current church building was completed and blessed by the friars in 1967.
The 50th anniversary is a bittersweet occasion for parishioners; they will soon be saying goodbye to the Franciscan Friars as they move away because of a lack of vocations. Father David Poirier, the current pastor, will stay for one year to help a new pastor transition and take over.