St. Joseph's Parish (Roman Catholic), Petty Harbour (NL)

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

St. Joseph's Parish (Roman Catholic), Petty Harbour (NL)

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Description area

Dates of existence



St. Joseph's Parish was established at Petty Harbour in 1884. Prior to this date, Petty Harbour formed part of the parish or district of St. John's, which then included Torbay, Pouch Cove, Portugal Cove, and Topsail. In 1834, Bishop Michael A. Fleming built a mission church, dedicated to St. Joseph, at Petty Harbour and celebrated Sunday mass there in July 1835. The mission was served by clergy from the Cathedral Residence in St. John's until its erection as an independent parish.

The original parish church built by Bishop Fleming was torn down on 22 October 1962 and construction began on a new building under the direction of Rev. James O'Dwyer, resident parish priest. In the interim, mass was celebrated for two years in the local Catholic school. Rev. O'Dwyer celebrated the first mass in the new St. Joseph's Church on 15 March 1964.

In 1884 the boundaries of St. Joseph's Parish encompassed the communities of Blackhead, Maddox Cove, and the Goulds. However, these original boundaries have been altered over time. In 1948, due to a growing Catholic population in the Goulds, St. Kevin's Mission was raised to the status of parish, thus gaining independence from St. Joseph's. In addition, responsibility for the mission church (also dedicated to St. Joseph) at Blackhead was transferred to St. John Bosco Parish after 1964. Thus, St. Joseph's current boundaries have contracted to encompass only the amalgamated community of Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove.

Structurally, the parish has been organized along lines similar to most Roman Catholic parishes, including a Parish Pastoral Council and a Finance Committee responsible for directing parish activities and managing parish monies.

Since 1970, St. Joseph's Parish has been served by clergy from St. Kevin's Parish. Pastors and administrators who have served St. Joseph's since its establishment include: Roger Tierney (1884-1930); Francis J. D. Ryan (1930-[1935?]); Edward J. Rawlins ([1935?]-1948); John L. Lacey ([1948?-1952?]); Andrew T. Nolan (1952-1955); F. W. Bradshaw (1955-1961); James O'Dwyer (1961-1969); John McGettigan, Administrator (1970-1971); John F. Wallis, Administrator (1971-1977); William Pomroy, Administrator (1977-1982); Robert Moore, Administrator ([1983?]-1986); Dermot McGettigan, Administrator (1986-1987); John Maddigan, Administrator (1987-1991); Jerome Hann, Administrator (1991-1999); Kenneth F. Walsh (1999-2001); and Paul Lundrigan (2001- ).


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Relationships area

Related entity

Basilica-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (St. John's, N.L.) (1793-1998)

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Description of relationship

The Basilica has records predating the establishment of St. Joseph's.

Related entity

St. Kevin's Parish (Roman Catholic), Goulds (NL) (1948-)

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Category of the relationship


Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

St. Kevin's has records after 1948 related to Goulds.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created - April 23, 2013


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