After World War II Archbishop J.A. O’Sullivan, became aware of the westward growth of the City of Kingston. He decided that a parish must be erected in the west end.
In 1949 the Reverend A.J. Welsh, the Archbishop’s Secretary, was appointed the first pastor and organiser of the parish. A property was acquired on Regent St and plans for a temporary church were completed. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1950 by Archbishop O’Sullivan, who said: “We feel that we have confidence in the Providence of God, the patronage of St Joseph and your generosity to carry the burden which you have undertaken.” It was the second St Joseph’s church in Kingston. The original church, on the corner of William and Bagot Streets, had served the city until St Mary’s Cathedral was built.
The church consisted of a parish hall with kitchen facilities, canteen, office and reception rooms. A section of one side wall was removable and the sliding doors opened into the chapel. Thus the 150 families were afforded their first church and community centre.
A Ladies’ Auxiliary was formed in 1949 with Mrs. James Fraser as its first president. In 1950 the Auxiliary became part of the Women’s League. Because of the growth of the congregation the original hall was abandoned in 1955 and an addition constructed.
During the growth period Monsignor Welsh decided that a new St Joseph’s Church must be built. A four acre site on Palace Rd was purchased as the site for the new church. On June 13, 1964, the new St. Joseph’s was officially opened by Archbishop Sebastiano Baggio, then Apostolic Delegate to Canada. The new St Joseph’s was the first fully contemporary church in Kingston Archdiocese. Its main alter was designed for Mass facing the congregation. The rectory and the attached meeting room were built at the same time as the church.
One of the striking features of the new church is the series of stained glass windows climbing upward from the portico to the arch of the roof. Donated by Archbishop O’Sullivan the theme of the series is ‘God the Son’. Centred in the design is a crucifix, unmistakable, although it depicts only the crowned head, spiked hands and crossed feet of Our Saviour; there is actually no cross depicted in the design. Surrounding the crucifix are various biblical scenes.
(taken from Built on a Rock: The Story of the Roman Catholic Church in Kingston 1826-1976 by Louis Flynn)