1026 N. 8th Avenue Winterset, IA 50273
Office: 515-462-1083 Fax: 515-462-2378
The community of St. Joseph Catholic Church is a welcoming family of faith, supporting every member in their spiritual journey to worship God through participation in the Eucharist, fellowship, faith formation, and service to others.
A Brief History of St. Joseph Church Told with Humor and Love
Madison County and the ground upon which St. Joseph's Church, Rectory and Parish Hall now stand was once native ground of the Fox and Sac Indians. Because of a treaty in 1842, these Indians agreed to move westward and the land was ceded to the U.S. government. Irish Catholic families were well represented among the first settlers eager to lay claim to this land. Their spiritual needs were periodically tended by circuit rider priests. Among these was Fr. John Brazill, famed pioneer, explorer, founder and builder, who built no less than ten churches outside of Des Moines. He and others came from the city at regular intervals and celebrated mass in the homes of parishioners.
In 1878 land was purchased for the building of the first Catholic church in Winterset. The cost to build this wooden church was $1,5oo. Our present church was constructed in 1911 at a cost of $8,000. The beautiful stained glass windows depicting gospel stories were brought here from Munich, Germany. Our bell was a gift from Mary Monaghan and her brother, John. Sadly, the first funeral for whom this bell tolled was that of Mary Monaghan.
The priest at the time of the construction of the second church was Fr. James Troy. Mary McNamara wrote, "My father tried his best to have a spacious basement put under the church for future use on account of the heavy tile roof which he was not in favor of. My father knew what he was doing, for he was a heating and plumbing contractor for many years and had the contract for such large buildings as Fort Leavenworth Penitentiary and the buildings at Conception Abby. Anyhow, Fr. Troy wanted to build a church for show instead of for the future so there was just a hole instead of a basement."
"The church had an old pot bellied stove in the back on the west side and the choir loft was on the east side and raised several steps. They had an old pump organ and outside was a long hitch rack north of the rectory and church for those who drove a team of horses to Mass."
Excerpt was taken from the Madison County Cookbook With Stories & Traditions pages 35-37.
Weekend Mass Times: Regular Daily Mass Times:
Saturday: 5:00 PM Monday: no mass
Sunday: 10:00 AM Tuesday: 6:00 PM
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:00 AM
Sacrament of Reconciliation:
Saturday 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM or by appointment
Sacrament of Marriage:
Six months notification and after completion of marriage program.
Sacrament of Baptism:
By appointment following baptism preparation program.
Feasts and Festivities
In September we have an authentic Mexican Dinner to which the whole community is invited. Our Latino parishioners provide the recipes and under their direction a delicious meal is prepared which is a fundraiser for our new church.
In celebration of a new year of catechesis, we have a brunch after the 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM masses. Parishioners are asked to bring anything with cinnamon in it for the brunch. This brunch is a fundraiser for the High School Youth Group (L.I.G.H.T.) and is hosted by them.
Once a year, usually in November or December, we invite all the newcomers to an eloquent dinner with wine and appetizers beforehand. Childcare is provided. It's a great opportunity for new members to get acquainted with each other and with other members of the parish.
Christmas in the Forest
Come pilgrimage down luminary-lighted pathways near the Pammel Park Nature Center. Bring a flashlight so you can look for angels in bushes and trees along the way to the woodland nativity scene. Then warm up around a bonfire, sing Christmas carols and enjoy hot drinks and cookies in the Nature Center. This is a great family activity focused on the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas Cookie Walk
Parishioners are asked to bring their prettiest Christmas cookies which are then attractively displayed on tables in the Parish Hall and sold by the pound to the community.
St. Nicholas Celebration
Each year on the Sunday nearest the Feast of St. Nicholas, our parish celebrates with a visit form St. Nicholas at the 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM masses followed by a delicious brunch hosted the the High School Youth Group. All parishioners are invited to bring food for the brunch.
Easter Season Brunch
This is an opportunity to celebrate Easter with our church family and is hosted by the Jr. High youth. Egg casseroles, coffee cakes and other family favorite brunch foods are served. Once again all parishioners are invited to bring food.
Confirmation Reception and Graduation Brunch
These two brunches are specifically for those who are being confirmed or graduating and their families.
Easter Vigil Reception
On Holy Saturday, the night in which our newest members are received into the church after participating in the RCIA process, we celebrate with a reception in the parish hall feasting on the desserts we craved during Lent.
First Communion Dinner
This dinner is for the First Communicants, their families and their prayer partners. This dinner is on the Friday before the children celebrate their First Eucharist. A kid-friendly meal, usually pizza and ice cream bars, is served.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
This is something new that we hope will become a tradition in our parish. Several times a year, parishioners are invited to attend a dinner and are told what food item to bring. The catch is that they are only given the address of their host for the evening and do not know who the other guests are until they arrive at the host's home. After the meal, there is a short reflection and discussion over a passage of scripture.
As you can see, we like to eat! Some of these festivities are just for parishioners, but as fundraising for the new church becomes more important, we welcome other ideas that have been successful in the churches from which you come! As we look to the future and the money that will be needed to build a new church, hall, and faith formation center, we will need to be creative in our fundraising efforts. Your suggestions could be very helpful and are greatly appreciated!