St. Joseph Catholic Church on Spring Hill Avenue will close in early 2018.
From The Catholic Week, March 31, 2017, Vol. 83, No. 06.
St. Joseph Catholic Church on Spring Hill Avenue will close in early 2018. The decision was made by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi after consultation with the Priests Council of the Archdiocese of Mobile and the Archdiocesan Council of Advisors.
The announcement was shared with the congregation at a public meeting March 23.
The church was built in 1909 and staffed by Jesuit priests. Its original mission was to serve the German Catholic community. Through the years the neighborhood surrounding the church became increasingly commercial and the congregation has dwindled to its current membership of 85 people. All parish organizations have ceased to exist.
The Jesuits withdrew from the parish in 2009. Since then, the priests from Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, seven blocks away, have celebrated the one weekly Sunday Mass.
Several weeks ago, St. Ignatius Parish leadership proposed building a new church at its Spring Hill Avenue location and incorporating the beautiful sacred art and fixtures from St. Joseph Catholic Church into their new church building.
With the realization that St. Joseph Parish will not experience future growth and the realization that the spiritual needs of both St. Joseph congregation and the cathedral congregation can be better provided by bringing these two nearby congregations together at the cathedral, approval has been given for St. Ignatius to incorporate the stained glass windows, pews, altars and other sacred art into their new church.
Although it is difficult to close a parish church, it is fortunate that the sacred art and objects in St. Joseph Church will continue to be used for the worship of God in a nearby Mobile church. A Mass of thanksgiving for the formal closing of the church will be celebrated in January 2018