Down the street from Saint Ann’s Catholic Church is a very active retirement village that was founded by Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in 1947. The sisters have since returned to their mother-house in Texas, but St. Joseph’s Villa is still going strong. There is still an overwhelming Catholic presence at St. Joseph Villa as it is still the only facility where members of the Catholic faith can come for either
There was ample parking and a large statue of Saint Joseph greeted me as he welcomes everyone who enter the parking area. Through the Villa doors and to the right is the entrance to the chapel. Along the way, there were beautiful framed portraits of Pope Francis, Pope Paul II, Archbishop Wester and a lovely recognition plaque to the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. Once inside the chapel, I immediately recognized Monsignor Rudolf Daz, as he was preparing for mass while Monsignor Lawrence Sweeney looked on.
The walls of the chapel are made up of horizontal wood tone slats. Just to the right of the entrance door is a bookshelf with missalettes, periodicals and handouts. To the right of the bookshelf is a hallway with offices and the sacristy. There are chairs along the side walls as well as rows of chairs facing the altar. A lovely grandfather clock is at the far right corner of the chapel along with an organ. Two green banners, with wheat and the alpha and omega symbols, hang at the altar and to the sides of a grand Jesus statue that hangs above. There is a large sky light that shines down about three stories onto Jesus. A small statue of Saint Joseph is to the right of the right banner along the wall. The altar table is made of light birch trimmed in marbled wood. Assorted plants and flowers line the front of the altar table that is adorned with a candle on each side. The ambo or pulpit is just to the left of the altar table and the processional cross is just behind. Three chairs for the ministers of the mass are along the back wall and just below Jesus. To the right and left of the altar are spectacular stained glass panels the show light in and guide it peacefully. The small circles of glass look like stars with the sun shining in. A black grand piano is to the left of the altar along with more chairs along the side walls. Along the back wall is a small adoration chapel with a crucifix, brass colored tabernacle sitting upon a beautiful table, the eternal candle, flowers and few seats. The Stations of the Cross line the left side and back wall.
Father Anastasius Iwuoha celebrated mass and Monsignor Daz assisted him at the altar. The Gospel and another part of the mass was in Latin, which was very spiritual. Parishioners at Saint Joseph’s Villa are very friendly and welcoming, because they are a family. For many it’s their second family and others, it’s their only family. Their family members change as some come and others leave, but all are welcome. We bless your name, O Lord, for sending your own incarnate Son, to become part of a family, so that, as he lived its life, he would experience its worries and its joys. We ask you, Lord, to protect and watch over this family, so that in the strength of your grace its members may enjoy prosperity, possess the priceless gift of your peace, and, as the Church alive in the home, bear witness in this world to your glory. We ask this thought Christ our Lord. Amen. —from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers