St. Joseph's Catholic Church is one of the oldest churches in the parish, the original building having been constructed in 1870, and construction on the new building began with a groundbreaking ceremony this week on March 18, 1952.
The original church building was constructed by Father Enaut who came from Monroe to Bastrop to hold mass in private homes. He soon decided there was a need for a church home and acquired land from Jonathan Ogden on which to build.
The church was a mission of the Monroe and Rayville parishes until July, 1940 when it was designated a mission site, and Father Ulric Landolt was assigned as resident pastor.
In 1952, the walls of the church building in use were the same ones built in 1870, and the original alter was in use as well as the pews and communion railing. The organ and candlesticks used at the time were also believed to be original.
Plans were eventually made for a new building, and Father Ulric Landholt began a building fund. He was replaced in 1951 with Father Tom Cashman who continued the work towards a new facility.
Plans for the new building included a main alter and two side alters along with a small baptismal font in the back. A choir loft was to be located in the back as well. A small oratory was also to be included. The building was to be modern in design and built of brick. The exterior was said to be 107 feet by 38 feet and it was stated that the building would hold 250 people.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 18, 1952, and a number of guests attended including Bishop Charles Greco, Bishop of Alexandria, Father Tom Cashman, Pastor, Father Raymond Micek, Assistant Pastor, nuns from the Morehouse General Hospital, members of the congregation, and visiting clergy.
Bishop Greece gave a dedication service and turned the first shovel of earth.
Today, St. Joseph's still stands as a prominent catholic church in Bastrop aiding in the community and providing a Blue Mass each year in honor of the city's first responders.
Church members have worked to beautify the grounds and preserve its long history.
Members of the church, as well as the city of Bastrop, hope the church will continue to grow and be a place of service to the community.