Parish History
Saint Joseph Church

At a meeting of the trustees of the Church on Feb. 24, 1950, the last of the indebtedness of the parish, $500.00, was paid off on that date. Trustees at the time were M.J. Boyce and Kamiel Wambeke; the latter served 13 years as a trustee. On May 10, 1951 seventeen children and eight adults were confirmed by the Most Rev. Patrick A. McGovern, D.D. Feb. 22, 1953 saw the day the mission of Lovell became a full-fledged parish, with Father John Brady being appointed the first pastor. A new altar was installed in the church March 6, 1953. On Oct 5, 1954, the Most Rev. Hubert M. Newell, D.D., conferred the sacrament of confirmation on 16 recipients. At a meeting of the trustees on Sept 10, 1955, it was moved to expend about $600 for the construction of a sidewalk, curb and gutter. Present at that meeting were Father J. Brady, Paul Grosinger, Kamiel Wambeke, and proxies, Edward VandenBoom and Clarence E. Roche. His Excellency, Most Rev. Hubert M. Newell, D.D., confirmed twenty- two (22) parishioners of St. Joseph’s on May 2, 1957. The summer of 1959 saw a new roof on the rectory under the direction of Wayne Cox. On Dec. 16, 1959, at a meeting of the trustees, discussions were held relative to the purchase of land for a new church. Present at the meeting were Father A. Diekemper, Edward VandenBoom, and Kamiel Wambeke. At the suggestion of the Bishop contacts had been made during the past year with several landowners. The moment seemed to be near when purchase could be made. At a meeting on Starch 13, 1960, it was announced authority had been obtained to purchase 5 acres of land through Mr. Jeff Metzler, real estate dealer. Land for the new church was purchased March 29, 1960, from Mr. Metzler for the sum of $5,000. On May 12, 1960 the sacrament was conferred on thirty-one parishioners (22 children, 9 adults) by the Most Rev. Hubert M. Newell, D.D. At the end of 1959 the yearly report states that there are 532 souls in the parish of St. Joseph, which includes the towns of Lovell, Kane, Byron, Frannie, Deaver, Cowley, and a part of Garland. Outside of Lovell, Deaver seems to have the largest concentration of Catholics. Attendance at holyday Masses will hit 325. The town of Lovell, mostly Mormon, has a population of about 2,500. Parishioners who have been especially helpful in parish work—book- keeping, typing, painting of the rectory, care of the altar and church grounds—are the following families: the Edward VandenBooms, T.F. Scrantons, the Asays, V.F. Haberthiers, Jose Cobos, Conception Ortezes, Bill Heilys, Wayne Coxes. Catechetical teachers who have devoted many hours to classes and instruction are: L.P. Springfield, Mrs. G. Roche, Mrs. Ed VandenBoom, Mrs. J. Asay, Socorro Cobos, Mrs. Everett Baldwin, Mrs. Wayne Cox.

Saint Joseph Church

On March 29, 1960, a five acre tract of land, south of the town of Lovell, was purchased from Mr. J.L. Metzler of Powell, at a cost of $5,000.00. On September 14, 1962, Father Joseph E. Moroney was appointed third pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish. Two years later, in August 1964, the five- acre tract of land was incorporated into the town limits. In February, l963, Father Moroney and the trustees of the Parish, Ed L. VandenBoom and Thomas Scranton, held the first meeting with a view to discuss plans to build a new church. Meetings were held at various times to discuss plans, etc. Finally, in October 1963, a group of men of the Parish and Father Moroney set up a Church Building Fund Campaign. It was decided to form six teams, with five members each, who would conduct a door-to-door campaign to raise funds for the new church. It was agreed that the goal of the campaign be $40,000.00. General Chairman was Ed L. VandenBoom, Associate Chairman Tom Lennon, Memorial Gifts Chairman T.F. Scranton, Associate Chairman C.E. Roche, and Associate Chairman E. Meagher. The Architectural Firm of Loners and Stroebe were engaged to draw up plans for a simple church building. A building that would serve the Parish as a temporary church which could be converted to a catechetical center at some future time. The present building is the fruit of their labors. Contracts for the new church were let in February 1965, with Julien Construction Company of Cody, Guymon Electric Company of Powell, and Denny Plumbing and Heating Company of Worland being the low bidders on the building. The total cost of constructing the building to be $63,122.00. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on March 14, 1965, and the work of excavating began on March 15, 1965. Mr. E.L. VandenBoom and Mr. C.E. Roche, trustees at the time, assisted Father Moroney in turning the first spade of dirt. The Catholic Church Extension Society very generously donated $10,000.00 toward the new construction. The Church proper can seat 250 people. There is a basement and kitchen which are used for parish functions, meetings and religion classes. The basement and kitchen were completed by men of the parish who brought the work to an end on December 31, 1969. On August 31, 1965, the new Church was dedicated by His Excellency, Most Reverend Hubert M. Newell. Father Moroney, pastor, offered the Mass, assisted by Rev. Daniel Carroll of Powell and Rev. Michael Scullion of Lander. In October 1966, Father Moroney was appointed pastor of Our Lady of the Mountains parish, Jackson. Father Thomas O’Flannigan was appointed pastor of St. Joseph’s, Lovell. In October, 1969, Father O’Flannigan was appointed pastor of St. Louis Parish, Glenrock, and Father James Doudican was sent as pastor at Lovell. On May 12. 1960, His Excellency, Bishop Newell administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to thirty-two boys and girls. There were forty-three confirmed on April 22, 1963. In 1966 a total of thirty-two were presented for Confirmation and on April 21, 1969, thirty received the Sacrament. During the past decade fifty-six babies and fifteen adults received baptism and there were thirty-nine marriages. Eight were mixed marriages and there were seventeen validations. First Communions amounted to one hundred thirty-two and there were twenty-three deaths, seventeen being adults.