Cathedral of St Joseph, Burlington, Vermont

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Our Present Physical Church
1888 - Completion of St Joseph Church - original Poster in French
1888 - Completion of St Joseph Church - My poster in English
2010 to 2019 Steeple Renovation . . . Follow all the stages of activity
Our Present Church Community
5 Years of Scouting at St Joseph's Parish Large 45 Meg. . . Optimized 2 Meg
Our Present Church History
Designated a Co-Cathedral 6 May 2001 by Bishop Angell
19 April 2018 Cathedral of St Joseph Announcement by Bishop Christopher Coyne
History of St Joseph Parish from 1834 to 1930 from the Baptism and Marriage books
Our Schools
Nazareth School Class of 1909 1 2 3 4
Nazareth School 4th graders about 1929
Our Priests
Monsignor Cloarec returns in 1913 after 3 months in Europe
Our Brittany Priests from Finistre, France
The Brittany Priests monument for those affiliated with St. Joseph's
Bishop DeGoesbriand Genealogy


The original St Joseph School built in 1863

See the 1850 church at the right side.

The St Joseph School and Church before 1900

See the 1863 building in the center

Now they have added porches.


The original St Joseph Church was burglarized and this article was in the 11 March 1864 Burlington Free Press.


Our Rooster is temporarily down, as the steeple is being repaired.

This gives an idea of how large it is and how it is made.

Front and Back covers of our 2010 parish directory

Photo's by Joan Richer and overall design by Steve Richer.



A Solemn High Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, celebrated on July 16, 1950

From Father Bernard Depeaux

A Great Photo of St Joseph Co-Cathedral Has Reappeared!


            Isn’t this an amazing 120-year-old photograph of St Joseph Church in Burlington? It is certainly the only photo I have seen of the interior during the construction of the church; and it’s such a high quality photo. The only other early photo of the completed church is a bad reproduction, probably from a newspaper. I do not believe that the writers of our St Joseph History had ever seen this photo, or it surely would have appeared in their excellent book. Father Steve Hornat was very pleased to receive it and he will have the photo framed and hung in a prominent spot in the rectory. 

            The photo was owned by Sandra (Beliveau) Devoid, who has since agreed to donate it to the parish. It is a good possibility that this photo came down through the generations from the Charron and Gutchell Families. Joseph Gutchell and Marie Vincent were married in the original St Joseph Church on Gogh Street, now North Prospect Street, on 5 Sep 1881. He was a painter and lived at 249 Elmwood Avenue in Burlington. Is Joseph Gutchell actually a carpenter in the photo? 

The photographer was Francois Xavier Thibault who had a shop called the "Star Gallery" in 1888 on the corner of North Union Street and North Winooski Avenue, opposite from Decatur Street. He lived at 188 North Street, which is just opposite the present St Joseph School playground, to the right of the old Gelineau Bakery. Francois Xavier had a great view of the new St Joseph Church as it was being built. I find it hard to believe that a photographer, who lived so close to the church, has taken only 1 photo of the church, which was being constructed from 1883 to 1887. Have you seen another photo of St Joseph’s Church that was taken by Francois Xavier Thibault? 

            Take a good look at this photo. There were no pews installed at this time. According to our St Joseph History book, “On Easter Sunday, April 10 1887, the new church was inaugurated …. A week later .… a two week mission was preached, during which the placement of the pews in the church continued”. I assume that this picture was taken either in late 1886 or early 1887. The plastering, columns and painting appear to be completed. All the medallions have been installed on the ceiling. The Communion Rail, and steps and the platforms for the altars are completed but the altar itself has not been installed yet. There is a beam attached to the 2nd column on the left and they may have been working on the construction of the pulpit. Note also the statue of St Joseph perched high atop the sanctuary. 

            The twelve carpenters each are carrying a Square, or T-Square, or a Plane or Saw that signifies his profession. It must have been cold because all the carpenters were wearing about 3 layers of clothing, and their hats. These hats were called “German Hats” in those days. One of the carpenters appears to be either German or Italian. Notice the impressive mustache! Is the older carpenter at the railing the supervisor (with the bow-tie) and is that his son beside him?  Could it be George Cross and his son Rene George Cross (Lacroix). Other carpenters mentioned in the history book are Narcisse Desrochers, Edward Hatin, Joseph Gratton, and Francois Guimond (Gilmond). 

            The photo is 120 years old, but maybe we can still identify some of these men who constructed this beautiful church, which is the largest church in Vermont. If you know anything about them, or if you have pictures confirming their identity please contact me: John Fisher


12 Carpenters at St Joseph Church

       St Joseph Church Events about 1887 using the 1877 Burlington map

  1. St Joseph Church built in 1850, with rectory and St Joseph School
  2. Site of new St Joseph Church built 1883 to 1887
  3. Site of new rectory built in 1905
  4. Nazareth School on Allen Street
  5. Initial site purchased in 1872 for the new St Joseph Church
  6. Home of Francois X. Thibault, photographer
  7. The “Star Gallery” owned by Francois X. Thibault
  8. Future site of where John Fisher was born at 30 Decatur St.
  9. “St Joseph’s Cemetery” used by St Mary’s Cathedral & St Joseph parishioners.
  10. Site of the Mount Calvary Cemetery for St Joseph’s parish purchased in 1878
  11. Site of the Mount Calvary Annex Cemetery


The “Star Gallery” owned by Francois X. Thibault



The 9 am Folk Choir          -        Photo by John Cartier


"Burlington Free Press    September 5, 1923.     Sinai Richer, a French artist who studied for five years with noted masters in France, Germany and Italy, has painted a large picture of the Last Supper ( a copy of da Vinci's Last Supper ) which has been set high over the main altar of the church. The picture, which is done on a canvas, 21 feet long and 10 feet wide, is an oil painting, well worthy of inspection. Mr. Richer painted the picture here in 25 days. The canvas has been fixed to the wall with a mixture of flour and honey. Mr. Richer also repainted all the statues of the church. Mr. Richer has done some work in the State before, having painted at the home of Dr. Webb at Shelburne. He has done work in some of the largest churches in the country and said that St. Joseph's is equal in beauty to any that he has seen."  This painting was retouched later by Pierre Zwick. It was assumed that the painting was painted over during the 1969 church restoration by Monsignor Charles Marcoux, however it was located later and restored and remounted during the 2001 restoration by Father Steve Hornat, which pleased all parishioners very much.

Replacing and Restoring the Last Supper in 2001

Sini Richer was born in 1865 at Saint-Hyacinthe. He died in 1946. He was the pupil of Chabert in Montreal. He left for Paris in 1887 and was the student of Bourguereau, a very-well known painter from the end of the century. He left religious paintings in the church of Richelieu near Chambly, in St Joseph de Chambly and also in the sanctuary of Brownsburg, Saint-Augustin (des Deux Montagnes) and Saint-Aimé (Richelieu region). He did several portraits; most of the known surviving ones are of priests and monsignori. Most of his works are copies of famous European paintings or renditions of pious lithographs of the kind sold by the international house of Turgis. (They are the one who furnished the Way of the Cross in the downstairs Mount-Carmel chapel). Research by Andre Senecal


Sinai Richer's Works in Bennington, VT 

Taken from "Sacred Heart Parish, The First Hundred Years 1880-1980"

 "In September, 1892, the Reverend Philias E. Lachance succeeded Father Prevost. Under Father Lachance, Sacred Heart remained a mission for the next ten years. The undertaking directed by Father Lachance took place in 1898 when the church was enlarged to accept its growth. By that time, the population of the congregation consisted of 118 families, 107 more than in 1885. The number of worshippers attending Sunday Mass had certainly outgrown the original church structure. It was decided to extend the church by another 30 feet to the east. This construction would provide the space for two vestry rooms and twenty pews to accommodate 100 additional sittings. Two new altars were built, four statues added, new Stations of the Cross acquired, and a new organ installed. The interior of the church was completely redecorated by Sinai Richer of Whitehall, N.Y., a graduate of the School of Fine Arts in Paris. The new murals and paintings that enhanced the walls and ceiling made the church unique. While Mr. Richer was engaged in the project, he lived with Mr. and Mrs. Alexis LaMarre at 333 School Street. He is well remembered by Mr. LaMarre's two daughters, May LaMarre and Julia LaMarre Ryan, present members of Sacred Heart."


Photo's of St Joseph Church about 1950, taken for Insurance Inventory

Left Altar Whole Church 2
Last Supper Painting Whole Church 3
Left Altar - closer Station of the Cross
Altar rail Ceiling Light
Main Altar 1 Pulpit - far
Main Altar 2 Pulpit - top
Main Altar 3 Pulpit - bottom
Main Altar from the top Sacristy Cabinet
Right side Altar & Column Window
Right side Altar Window bottom
Right side Altar again Door Tympanum
Right side Altar - lower Front of Church & Steps
Whole Church1 Right side of Church exterior


St Josephs 1886-1887 no pews

St Josephs 1886-1887 carpenters


2001 Restoration 1

2001 Restoration 2

St Joseph 100 Years back

2001 Restoration 3

A May Crowning about 1950

2001 Restoration 4

St Joseph Rededication Mass

2001 Restoration 5

St Joseph Rededication Mass 2

2001 Restoration 6

St Joseph Rededication Mass 3

2001 Restoration 7

St Joseph Rededication Mass 4

2001 Restoration 8

Statue of Mary with lights

2001 Restoration 9

Statue of Jesus with lights

2001 Restoration 10


2001 Restoration 11

2005 Aerial Photo of St Joseph's

2001 Restoration 12

New Mount Calvary Cemetery

2001 Restoration 13

Old Mt Calvary Cemetery & Annex

2001 Restoration 14


2001 Restoration 15

St Josephs from Colchester Hill

2001 Restoration 16

2002 Rite of Sending - Katie

2001 Restoration 17

2002 Ordination Ceremony

2001 Restoration 18


2001 Restoration 19

Christmas Creche 1891

2001 Restoration 20




The Great Restoration Crew

Some Statistics on St Joseph and Nazareth Schools

This data was extracted from 2 enrollment ledgers found at the school in 2010.
They contain the names of all the students in each Nazareth class for each year.

Nazareth on Allen
St Joseph on Hill
New school built
9th grade with 17 students

Sometimes there were total enrollment numbers for St Joseph school but no names.

St Joseph School opened in 1863 at the corner of Prospect and Archibald Streets;
and closed in June of 2010 on Allen Street, Burlington.