The cornerstone for Saint Joseph Church was laid in 1868 by a group of San Antonio’s German Catholic Immigrants who wanted to worship and hear God’s Word proclaimed and celebrated in their own language.
Over the course of years the German Community constantly improved their Parish of St. Joseph and its buildings. In 1891, four bells with matched tones were purchased and consecrated. They were given the names of Joseph, Mary, Henry and Joseph, by their donors as was the German custom. The Gothic style building was without a steeple until 1898 when the now existing spire was erected to crown and complete the structure as it is today.
This was the second copy of Michelangelo’s Pieta I saw in San Antonio.
Then in 1902, the beautiful stained glass windows were purchased for the unbelievable sum of $3,000, from the Emil Frei Art Glass Factory in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
The Stations of the Cross are commonly found in Catholic churches as a series of 14 small icons or images. They can also appear in church yards arranged along paths. The stations are most commonly prayed during Lent on Wednesdays and Fridays, and especially on Good Friday, the day of the year upon which the events actually took place.
In 1945, a crisis arose when the Joske’s Department Store wanted to purchase the Church and Rectory and grounds and use the land for its expansion program. The parishioners, however, voted unanimously not to sell their cherished Church, allowing it to remain as a strong sign of their Faith in the midst of a secularized, historic and cultural environment. As a result, St. Joseph Church stands today and is known as the “Jewel in the heart of San Antonio” close to the famed Alamo, and encircled as it is by the new RiverCenter Mall, Residencies and Hotels.
The Church is the home of the world renowned San Antonio Liederkranz. On the fourth-Sunday of the month, the San Antonio Liederkranz (founded in 1892) donate their stewardship of time and extraordinary talent to express their Faith through liturgical song; a variety of hymns are sung in Latin, German and English, at the 11:00 a.m. celebration of the Eucharist!
When I visited this church on Saturday morning April 30th there were more people and activity than I usually find when visiting during my travels and site seeing. I didn’t feel comfortable taking as many photos as I usually do in beautiful churches like this. It sure would have been a great experience to be at the 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday of this weekend since the San Antonio Liederkranz would have been worshiping in song. We flew out on Saturday.
In Seattle style we are having a rainy Memorial Day weekend so far! I guess I’ll do indoor stuff like cleaning my dusty, cluttered dwelling! What are you doing?
I’m linking later to InSPIREd Sunday with Beth and Sally.