The history of St. Joseph Parish has its roots in two parishes: Holy Trinity in Webertown which no longer exists and St. Andrew’s in Rozellville which is now St. Joseph’s sister parish. St. Andrew’s Church was built in 1881 and Holy Trinity in 1887. In 1893 the mission parish of Holy Trinity became affiliated with St. Andrew’s and regular Masses became the norm. This was largely due to the faithful who diligently transported the pastor back and forth from Rozellville to Webertown.
A twist of fate led to St. Joseph Church being built in Stratford. The arrival of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and the subsequent establishment of the W D Connor Lumber Company in 1891 led to an increase in size of the Stratford community and a decrease in Webertown. When Holy Trinity needed to be replaced, it was decided to build the new church in Stratford. The Cornerstone was laid in 1898 and the building completed in 1899. Holy Trinity was eventually torn down.
April 1900 First Baby Baptized (Walter M. Kaiser)
October 31, 1900 First Funeral (George Schweikl)
He is the first person buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in Stratford.
November 1, 1900 First time for First Holy Communion celebration.
January 16, 1901 First Wedding (Louis Meixner and Catherine Wudy)
1902-1912 Father Martin Casper was the first resident pastor.
The first rectory was built.
The first teacher of religion was Miss Hattie Goerling
The Christian Mothers Society was founded. It was later named the Altar Society and is now known as the Parish Council of Catholic Women (PCCW).
1912-1912 Father Fredrick Foster served as Pastor
1918-1944 Father John L. Schumacher served as the longest pastor.
1939 The Church-School Combination was built.
Cost of construction was $70,000 with seating capacity of 600 for the church and six classrooms.
1943 Father Schumacher celebrated his 25th anniversary as pastor.
1945-1952 Father Anthony Fischer was pastor. (He died in 1999 at age 93.)
1948 St. Adalbert’s Church becomes Mission Church of St. Joseph
1949 Our present rectory was built. It was dedicated on January 19, 1950.
1953-1955 Monsignor A. N. Schuh was pastor. There were four assistant priests.
1953 An addition was added to the school. By 1958 enrollment was almost 400.
1955-1963 Father Joseph Udulutch was pastor.
1963-1968 Father E.J. Thome was pastor.
Father Thomas Rudolph was his assistant from 1965.
We began using lay commentators and ministers at Mass.
1968-1969 Father Stanley Chilicki was pastor.
1969-1972 Father Cletus Abts was pastor.
1970 St. Adalbert’s Mission Parish consolidated with St. Joseph and a few years later the church was torn down.
1972-1980 Father Francis Wavra was pastor.
A new front entrance was added to the church.
The church windows were replaced with stained glass depicting the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
1975 Reverend Mr. Raymond Burke, native son, was ordained.
1980 -1990 Father Joseph Grassl was pastor.
St. Andrew’s, Rozellville, and St. Joseph’s become sister parishes.
1989 Father Raymond Burke named Defender of the Bond of the Supreme Tribunal in Rome.
1990-1995 Father Joseph Konopacky was pastor.
1995 Monsignor Raymond Burke ordained Bishop of LaCrosse.
1995 Father Thomas Rudolph returns to become pastor.
2004 Bishop Raymond Burke installed as Archbishop of St. Louis.
2008 Archbishop Burke appointed Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome
2008 Courtyard Vision Volunteers formed in order to update the church entrance and landscaping.
2010 May 31 Father Thomas Rudolph retires. Takes up residency in Pittsville.
2010 – May 2012 Father Eric Berns named Parochial Administrator
2011 Nov. 20 Archbishop Burke installed as Cardinal Burke in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI
2012 Fr. Alphonse, Pastor