A three-day retreat and a Mass with Bishop Matthew H. Clark will highlight this year’s 140th-anniversary celebration of St. Joseph Church in Campbell.
The retreat is scheduled to take place May 16-18 at St. Joseph, located on Main Street. Each program will begin at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Sessions will focus on lessons from the life of St. Joseph, the church’s original patron saint. Also to be included are exposition and Benediction, evening prayer and the rosary. Topics are as follows:
May 16 — "St. Joseph the Protector." The scheduled guest speaker is Father Richard Farrell, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Elmira.
May 17 — "St. Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death" with Father Michael Twardzik, parochial vicar of Holy Family Catholic Community in Steuben and Livingston counties.
May 18 — "St. Joseph the Provider" with Father Lewis Brown, sacramental minister of All Saints Parish in Corning/Painted Post.
A reception in the church hall will follow each retreat session. Religious articles from Gloria House Christian Gifts will be available for purchase.
St. Joseph’s anniversary observance is set to culminate Aug. 28 with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Clark, followed by dinner at the Campbell American Legion. In anticipation of the anniversary event, a committee is preparing a book about St. Joseph’s parish history. A pictorial history CD also is in the works.
The Campbell area’s first Masses were celebrated in the 1850s in private homes, mostly of Irish immigrants. A new church for St. Joseph — the same one used today — was constructed in 1871. St. Joseph was formerly a mission parish of St. Patrick in Corning and later St. Mary in Bath. Beginning in 1926 St. Joseph has shared a pastor with St. Stanislaus in Bradford. St. Catherine of Siena was added in 1991 to form the "A-B-C" (Addison, Bradford and Campbell) cluster.
St. Joseph was served from 1982-2007 by the late Father Gerald O’Connor, pastor. He was assisted by the late Father Andrew Kalafsky in retirement from 1991-2007. Father Patrick Connor, who has been pastor since 2007, is assisted by Father Francis Erb and Deacon Dan Williams.
In July 2010 St. Joseph, St. Stanislaus and St. Catherine combined all their staffs, finances and parish pastoral councils to form a new parish, Ss. Isidore and Maria Torribia. May 15 — the day before the upcoming retreat begins at St. Joseph Church — will mark the feast day of these saints, who are the patrons of farmers and rural communities.