In 1922, The Most Reverend Michael J. Curley, Archbishop of Baltimore, authorized the establishment of a Catholic Parish in the African-American community of Glenarden, Maryland. Funds were raised through the efforts of Catholic residents and the guidance of Rev. Francis A. Schwallenberg, pastor of Saint Margaret of Scotland Parish in Seat Pleasant, Maryland. Through these efforts, a five-acre site was purchased on Piedmont Avenue in Glenarden. The church that was constructed seated two hundred people. The first Mass was celebrated on Christmas Day, December 25, 1922 by Father Franz J. Coln.
The administration of the parish was assigned to the Josephite Fathers in 1932. Priests at Incarnation Church of Deanwood in Northeast Washington, DC assumed the responsibilities. Later, the administration was transferred to the pastor of Holy Family Church in Mitchellville. Father Michael J. Gumbleton, S.S.J. and Father John J. Albert, S.S.J. served during that era. The parish rectory was built during the pastorate of Father Albert.
The parish was officially dedicated under the patronage of Saint Joseph in 1938.
The first resident pastor, Rev. William J. Reichmeyer, S.S.J. was appointed by Josephite Superiors, and approved by the Archbishop of Baltimore in 1943. Traditional parish organizations were established during Father Reichmeyer’s pastorate including the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, the Knights of St. John and the Ladies Auxiliary.
In 1945, Rev. Chester C. Ball succeeded Father Reichmeyer as pastor. The 25-year Silver Jubilee of the Parish was celebrated in 1947. The Most Reverend Lawrence J. Shehan, Archbishop of Baltimore and the Superior General of the Josephites, Reverend Edward V. Casserly, S.S.J., participated in the celebration.
Father Ball was succeeded by Rev. Vincent Severino, S.S.J. in 1952. Other Josephite Pastors included Rev. Philip J. McLoon and Rev. Francis Tighe. Josephite administration ended in 1964.
Rev. Robert O. McMain was appointed as Archdiocesan Pastor in 1964. Rev. Oliver Mahedy was appointed Assistant Pastor. The Archdiocese of Washington purchased approximately ten acres from "Rosemount", the former estate of Maryland Governor Joseph Kent. Preparations began for a new church at that location. The ground-breaking ceremony was held on March 19, 1967, the Feast of Saint Joseph. Masses were offered at the Piedmont Avenue Church and at Kent Junior High School in Kentland, Palmer Park, Maryland while the current church was under construction.
On Sunday, March 24, 1968 the church and parish center was dedicated by Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle, Archbishop of Washington. Rev. Joseph J. Naughton followed Father McMain as Pastor. He assisted in the organization and direction of the 50th Anniversary Celebration and the naming of the parish hall as the Rosemont Room, in honor of Rosemount, the antebellum mansion of Governor Kent's family.
Pastors serving the Saint Joseph Church following Father Naughton are:
Rev. Neal Ward (1973-1981)
Rev, Peter Sweeney (1981-1989)
Rev. Samuel Craig (1989-1991)
Rev. Michael J. King (1991-2001)
Rev. Raymond H. Moore (2001-2008)
Rev. Levester Jones (2008-2010)
Rev. Grant Gaskins (2010)
Most Rev. Roy E. Campbell, Jr. (2010-present)
There were Archdiocesan Associate Priests at St. Joseph from 1964 until 1987.
The former associates are:
Rev. Oliver Mahedy (1964-1967)
Rev. Michael J. Arrowsmith (1967-1969)
Rev. John T. O'Neill (1969-1970)
Rev. James E. Casey (1970-1972)
Rev. Ralph C. Torsiello (1972-1974)
Rev. Thomas Kalita (1974-1975)
Most Rev. William E. Lori (1977-1982)
Rev. Paul Mast (1982-1987)
Rev. Aaron Qureshi (2015-2016)
Rev. Stephen Wyble (2016)
Saint Joseph Parish continues to respond to the many needs of the the parish and local community through the outreach of its many ministries and organizations. The parish has celebrated 75 years, 85 years, 90 years and is preparing for a Glorious Faith Filled 100 Year Anniversary celebration in the year of our Lord, 2022.