St. Joseph - St. Pius X
Catholic Parish of Leicester, MA
About St. Joseph - St. Pius X Parish
St. Joseph – St. Pius X Parish was united as a single parish in November of 2014, united from the parishes of St. Joseph’s Parish and St. Pius X Parish of Leicester, MA. There is a long history of the Catholic Church in Leicester, dating back to 1855 when the first Catholic Church here was dedicated to St. Polycarp. The church was constructed by recycling a Catholic church from Grafton, which sold it to the newly formed parish of Leicester. The parish grew quickly, and in 15 years out-grew the church and sold it to the fledgling Catholic community in Rochdale. The church was rededicated as St. Aloysius.
In 1867 the first cornerstone of St. Joseph’s Church was laid. In 1870 the new church was dedicated. The parish was still in tremendous growth and had to add onto the original building. The resulting renovated church was dedicated in 1901 and is today’s St. Joseph Church. The church served the town of Leicester for 55 years until in 1956 Bishop Rite decreed that the parish of St. Joseph be divided into two seperate parishes; St. Pius X and Our Lady of the Valley. In 1960 the parish of O.L.V. petitioned and it was granted by the Bishop to change the name of the parish back to St. Joseph.
In 1989 these two parishes were united in a cluster, along with the parishes of St. Aloysius and St. Jude, who refused the request. This was the result of the shortage of priests. The Parishes of St. Joseph and St. Pius X remained seperate until November 23, 2014, when we once again became one unified parish on a historic day of hope and joy. Some may feel loss and pain as the beautiful building of St. Joseph is closed, but must remember that in our faith we have come to believe that death is not an end, but a new beginning, as we have now become the Parish of St. Joseph – St. Pius X.