About Our Parish
Saint Joseph Parish
We have come along way in the past 60 years! Back in the 1850's when Catholics wanted to go to Mass, they would have to travel by foot or by horse and buggy to Newtown. Around 1867 a woman named Mary Meaney (Mary Smith's great grandmother) opened her home for the first Mass celebrated in Brookfield. The house still stands on Route 25. A Catholic priest from Newtown would come to say Sunday Mass at the Meaney home. When Brookfield became part of the New Milford Parish in 1881, the priest from New Milford would come to say Mass.
In 1892, Father Jeremiah Curtin bought land in lower Brookfield on what is now known as Pocono Road. It was here that the first Catholic Church in Brookfield was built.
Brookfield continued to be a mission of New Milford until 1941 when Father Patrick Quinlan became the first pastor of Saint Joseph's. The · following year, the Diocese of Hartford provided Father Quinlan with funds ($8,500) to purchase a rectory on Long Meadow Hill Road and grounds for a Grotto. In September of 1942, volunteers began to build the Shrine of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on · Route 25. On May 26, 1943, Bishop McAuliffe came form Hartford to attend the dedication.
In 1952, the parish purchased property on the comer of Route 25 and Route 133. The house that existed on the property was used as a meeting place until 1956 when it was turned into a convent with the arrival of the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis. Over the next two years the sisters provided religious education classes for the children of the parish and planned and prepared for the opening of the parish school. In 1958, St. Joseph's School opened its doors with five grades. Father James Dennis was the first principal and Sisters Claire and Pauline were part of the first teaching staff. The new Church was located on the lower level of the school building and remained in that location for the next thirty years.
In 1987, as a result of the recommendations of the Parish Advisory Council, a number of advisory committees, and a parish-wide survey, a decision was made to build a new church. Following the planning and approval stages throughout 1989, grounding breaking for the new church commenced during the spring of 1990.
As preparations were made for the pouring of the footings in the fall of 1990, parishioners were invited to submit family "rocks" upon which the new church would be built. Many colorful and decorated rocks, bearing family and individual names and symbols, were brought to the parking lot over several weeks and were then incorporated into the foundation of the church. On the cold, cloudy morning of March 8, 1991, the raising of the church steeple brought cheers and tears to those who came to observe this milestone. As the cross was hoisted into place atop the steeple, the sun momentarily broke through the clouds bringing significant warmth and joy to the occasion. On April 28, 1991, the year of our Golden Jubilee, Bishop Edward M. Egan dedicated our new church.