24 Jul St. Joseph celebration
On Sunday, June 6, St. Joseph Church in Conway officially became a diocesan parish after being administered by the Holy Ghost Fathers for 130 years.
The transition took place because the Holy Ghost Fathers, also known as The Spiritans, are a missionary order that primarily serves the poor or disenfranchised. When they established St. Joseph Church in 1879, it was looked on as a mission church because of its remoteness and sparse population. That obviously changed, and the Holy Ghost Fathers finally came to the conclusion that they are needed elsewhere.
A ceremony marking this transition was held during a Sunday mass. Arkansas’ Most Reverend Bishop Anthony B. Taylor presided. The Holy Ghost Fathers were represented by their national Provincial, Father John Fogarty.
Outgoing pastor George Spangenberg was also present, along with former associate pastors Brandon Nguyen and Sylvio D’Ostilio, Father James Burnie, Father Chike Anyigbo, Fathers Charles Thessing and Warren Harvey (both Conway natives), and St. Joseph deacons Richard Papini and David Westmoreland.
Following the mass, a reception was held in the parish hall dining room.