Fr. Snyder became pastor in 1962. Fr. La Porta served as his associate. As pastor for twenty years (1962–82) Fr. Snyder played a major role in the development of both the physical and spiritual life of St. Joseph’s. Almost immediately, he took up the study of finding land space. In April 1963, 15 acres of the Adam’s farm on Liberty Road were purchased for $21,500.
The groundbreaking ceremonies took place in June, 1964 and the first Mass in the new building was celebrated on May 23, 1965. His Eminence Lawrence Cardinal Sheehan conducted dedication ceremonies on June 20, 1965.
Ten years later, Fr. Snyder was confronted with the challenge of having insufficient space for the 685 young people registered in the CCD program and no space for an active, growing CYO. Once again, the parish needed a new building. A planning committee, appointed in the Spring of 1975, surveyed the needs of various parish organizations and recommended that a building be constructed to provide the necessary space. The parish council gave its final approval on May 13, 1976 to build a gym, classrooms and offices.
Under Fr. Snyder the CCD program was expanded and three Sisters from St. Mark’s in Catonsville came to teach at St. Joseph’s. After these Sisters withdrew from the program in 1969, Sr. Catherine and Sr. Noreen met with the teachers to provide some guidance for preparing their classes. In 1972, Sr. Noreen became part-time coordinator of the religious education program. At the recommendation of the education committee, she was hired as full-time coordinator in 1974. Under her leadership, parents assumed a more active role in working with the children. Out of this involvement arose the adult education committee. This committee sponsored Bible study groups, evenings of prayer, special lectures and study programs.
The Marianists took over the leadership of the parish in 1981 when Fr. Peter O’Grady S.M. was appointed as pastor. With the assistance of Fr. John Mulligan, S.M., he began to develop a number of programs in the parish. The Parish Council was restructured and the Parish Council Constitution was re-written. The Parish Executive Board and Staff arranged for an all day planing session for January 28, 1984. As a result of this meeting, the Staff was enlarged to include a youth minister and a liturgist/musician, a computer was installed in the parish office, a planning committee and a home visitation program were inaugurated, guidelines for the use of our facilities were drawn up and a parish mission statement was formulated.
The years between 1986 and the present can be characterized by expansive growth of ministries, a collaborative spirit and continual efforts toward reconciliation. Parishioners have grown in understanding their call to ministry within the Church. They serve in every area of parish life, giving generously of their time and talent to help bring about the Reign of God.
In the late eighties, the Renew process energized the spiritual development of parishioners. At the end of the process, many Renew groups continued to meet and the Small Christian Community movement in the parish was initiated and sustained. As a result of this, faith sharing became a centerpiece of parish life.
In the early nineties, Bro. Rick Connor S.M. was hired as Pastoral Associate for Small Christian Communities. Fr. Paul Fitzpatrick, S.M. joined the staff in 1990; he was involved in Sacramental ministry and the social action program.
Fr. Patrick Tonry, S.M. arrived in 1996. As had been discerned by the Pastoral Staff in the previous year, a Co-pastoring Team was put in place at that time. Fr. Tonry served as Canonical Pastor for Sacramental Ministry; Dolores Clerico S.S.J. as Co-Pastor for Formation Ministry and Francis J. Seymour, Jr. as Co-pastor for Support Ministry. The Co-pastoring Team was installed by the Most Reverend P. Francis Murphy, Regional Vicar for the Western Vicariate of the Archdiocese of Baltimore on September 14, 1996. This collaborative model of co-pastoring was altered in 1998. However, the Pastoral Staff continues functioning in a collaborative style. Pastoral Council and Staff meet every year in the fall and in the spring to assess the needs of the parish and to try to respond appropriately.
In the last three or four years, an average of 100–120 new families have registered each year. The Pastoral Staff has been expanded to serve the growing number of people and needs of our parish. Through the efforts of many generous faith-filled parishioners and the leadership of competent, dedicated pastoral staff members, we continue to grow in faith and love as a liturgically-based community.
Programs for sacramental preparation have a high priority in our parish: the Infant Baptism Program, the RCIA process, preparation programs for Reception of the Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation and Confirmation and the Sponsor-Couple Marriage Preparation Program.
The Religious Education program has expanded, various liturgical ministries have been developed and refined, and quality programs to assist those who are the most vulnerable because of injustice, sickness, or poverty in this community and around the world have been advanced by the Christian Service Commission. Under the direction of Fr. Terry Weik, S.M. (1992–1998) Youth Ministry evolved into four types of programs: The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), the Catholic Life Community (CLC), the Confirmation Sacramental Program (CSP), the Living in Faith Experience (LIFE).
The Knights of Columbus have been growing steadily and have initiated a Squires program for young men of the parish.
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas have a thriving group at St. Joseph’s. The Finance Commission was established and under its direction, the parish initiated a tithing program, committing itself to share 10% of its income to the needy and the poor. The parish also encourages parishioners to live this tithing spiritually.
Due to increasing needs in the area of finances and property management, St. Joseph’s hired Mr. Francis Seymour as full-time business manager in 1989. As a result of several planning sessions, the Facilities Committee was directed to hire a handyman to keep our facilities functional and supportive. They employed Tom Schwartz, an accomplished carpenter, who has completed several renovations and continues to maintain our facilities in an exceptional manner.
Committees were formed to plan for the expansion of facilities. A series of open parish meetings were held to insure that parishioner input was included in the planning process. Fund raising for these purposes began in 1991. A Core Team Committee planned the upgrades, which included a third church building.