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Nota Bene Jul 18, 2017

St. Joseph the Worker church turns 50

By Agnieszka Krawczynski

Parishioners celebrate Mass on the 50th birthday of St. Joseph the Worker Church in Richmond. (All photos by Ray Lim / Special to The B.C. Catholic)

For Catholics in Richmond, the 50th anniversary of the completion of St. Joseph the Worker church called for a whole weekend of celebrations. From June 23-25, parishioners marked the occasion with Mass, a banquet, live performances, a tea for longtime parishioners, and a family barbecue.

St. Joseph the Worker Parish began as a Catholic mission set up by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement in Steveston in 1932. Their aim was to serve a community of mostly Japanese fishermen who had settled near the Fraser River.

St. Joseph's was established as a parish in 1949 and the current church building was completed and blessed by the friars in 1967.

Pastor Father David Poirier, SA, walks in a procession at the end of Mass.
Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver gives a speech during the anniversary banquet.
Volunteers prepare a barbecue for about 300 parishioners June 25.

The 50th anniversary is a bittersweet occasion for parishioners; they will soon be saying goodbye to the Franciscan Friars as they move away because of a lack of vocations. Father David Poirier, the current pastor, will stay for one year to help a new pastor transition and take over.