First Catholic Church in Oregon for Sale?
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with Trolley
Karen Rivera 2009
One of the most charming reasons to live in a small town is hearing the Sunday Services down the street from my house. Even though I have to leave, I never thought the historic Church would. It’s been there since 1858 but it’s being closed and probably put up for sale. To say my community is stunned is an understatement.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jacksonville in Southern Oregon was the first Catholic Church built in Oregon. I’ve watched as the parishioners paid for a new heating system, painted the outside, installed new carpet and wallpaper, upgraded the doors and windows and refinished the pews without help from the diocese. Volunteers mow the lawn, rake the leaves and set-up the Sunday picnic benches. Their meticulous yard work makes me wince when I see my front yard. Apparently, self-maintenance and donating a cash collection every week in exchange for a monthly 4 hours of Masses wasn’t enough to keep the doors open for the 100 or so members.
This is a comitted group of people who have been taking care of each other since 1956. It’s not just a building that’s going to be lost.