This history is a compilation of facts taken from a book published by the Laconia Citizen at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Church, letters, newspaper clippings, photographs and scrap books found in the basement of the rectory and especially the help of many parishioners who shared their memories and experiences as well as Judy Loto of the Laconia Historical and Museum Society. It was written principally by Rose Marie Robichaud in 2001 and ammended by Karen Sullivan in 2021.
Irish Catholics celebrate masses in private homes with visiting priests.
Reverend Isadore Noisseaux of Lancaster, NH is in charge of faithful and celebrates mass in Folsoms Hall, a tavern in the center of town.
Land is purchased on the corner of Lyford and Messer Streets.
Construction of a new church was begun and completed.
Bishop David Bacon of Portland, Maine dedicated the new church. Reverend John Murphy was the first pastor.
Father Michael J. Goodwin became pastor.
Lightning strikes and destroys the church. Entire Laconia community rallies to raise money to build new church.
Father J. Lambert Schakers of Holland becomes pastor. Saw to the rebuilding of the church.
Purchase from George Stevens and Co. of Cambridge a pipe organ containing 1052 pipes and 24 registers.
April 1890, it was dedicated with two concerts by professional artists from abroad Mme. Rosa D’Erina greatest lady organist in the world and Professor G.R Vontom, famous tenor.
Father John Powers pastor.
Father Charles R. Hennon became pastor but dreamt of moving from the Messer Street site.
In 1893 he is said to have thrown a statue of St. Joseph over the fence of the Busiel property, saying, “I’ll be in to get you later.”
Fr. Hennon is said to have thrown a statue of St. Joseph over the fence of the Busiel property because he wanted to purchase it for a new church building. His competition for the property was his good friend, Rev. Richard Swain, the rector of the Congregational Church.
Father Hennon purchased purchased the Busiel property which included the land from the Gale Memorial Library to the corner of Messer Street.
Fr. Hennon died.
Father James F. Freeden was pastor.
Father Thomas Redden was pastor and saw the needs of the parish growing.
Father Redden announced he had been given an anonymous gift of $9,750.
The ground breaking for the new church on the property Father Hennon had purchased took place. Drawings by James O’Shaughnessy of the Ralph Adam Cram office in Boston were sent to the Walsh Brothers of Cambridge MA and the present English Gothic structure of granite and limestone was built. The organ from Messer Street was moved to the present site. The contract for the stained glass windows was awarded to Reynolds, Francis and Rhonstock of Boston, one of only four stained glass companies to have their records placed permanently in the Smithsonian Institute.
Bishop George Guertin of Manchester dedicated the new church.
Fr. Redden died
Monsignor John W. Sliney is pastor. Completed addition to St. John’s School.
Monsignor John Boyd was pastor.
Father J. Desmond O’Connor became pastor.
The centennial of St. Joseph’s parish was celebrated with the installation and consecration of a new granite altar. The Gothic columns on the main altar are removed and the Tabernacle is moved to the right and the Blessed Sacrament altar is created.
Father Arthur Sullivan was pastor.
Father Robert J. Kemmery was pastor.
The Andover Organ Co. of Methuen, MA was contracted to rebuild and restore the organ.
John Morlock and Peter Cameron did the major work.
At this time The Baptismal font was placed in a niche to the right of the Blessed Sacrament Altar, the Reconciliation room is created and the bas relief of the Last Supper that was part of the main altar is placed by the entrance door to the left of the sanctuary.
Father Michael Griffin was pastor and created the Holy Trinity Foundation Trust.
Father William Quirk was pastor.
Through the efforts of Father Quirk and the Historical Society of Laconia, The Busiel, house built in 1866, was placed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Father Gary Kosmowski was pastor. Through his efforts the Busiel property was restored.
Father Marc Drouin made pastor and under he direction of Bishop John McCormick combined the three parishes in the Laconia Area.
The joint parish became known as Blessed André Bessette Parish, later to become Saint André Bessette Parish in the fall of 2010 when he was declared a saint.
Our Lady of the Lakes had its closing ritual and the property was sold to the Southern Baptist Church in November, 2011
Under the guidance of Pastor Father Marc Drouin the backdrop of the altar was built by Mo Gouin and the Tabernacle was brought back to the center of the sanctuary.
The following years needed to continue to deal with a financial picture showing one parish with two church campuses one half mile apart showing a deficit of $150,000.
The dilemma was the Holy Trinity School located on the St. Joseph campus, so it would be difficult to close that church.
The TD Bank became available which gave the parish the opportunity to consolidate on one campus, relocating the school. All this was done through consultation with the Pastoral Council, the Financial Council and the Building Committee.
A letter was distributed to the parishioners and an announcement was made at the weekend masses that the decision was made to close St. Joseph Church.
It was said that the church would remain open until the renovations to the school and church were completed at the Sacred Heart Campus. The property would be listed for sale for a minimum of six months and if it did not sell at that point it could be razed.
Parishioners were made aware of a pending the sale of the church property and the decision to raze the church which led to outrage from the community at large and led to the creation of the St. Joseph Preservation Society.
Parishoners were informed that the sale had been cancelled and that the three parcels on the campus would be subdivided so they be could be sold separately. The church would remain open for worship while renovations were completed at Sacred Heart. The demolition permit remained in place.
The last weekend Masses were celebrated at St. Joseph Church. The church was to remain open for daily, private prayer.
A letter was distributed informing parishioners that the Busiel House and Holy Trinity School had been sold to the City of Laconia for a purchase price of 1.14 million.
The City of Laconia announced that the Busiel House was sold to Ian and Mandy Hagan, with the intention that it would be restored and become their residence.