Bishop McNulty blesses the side altar dedicated to
St. Joseph. Msgr. Dooling and Msgr. Dil.uca are at his right.
young, while the heritage that is ours from the distant
past is known but to a very few.
Father John Doraio left the parish in April of the year after the coming of Fathers Dooling, Owens and Dell'Orto, and he was succeeded by the newly ordained Father Me- Guire. Merely to mention Father McGuire in a single sentence might seem unjust. However, our intention is to write more of the three pastors who have served St. Francis Xavier, rather than the assistants who served with them. The work of assistant pastors is best left recorded by the angel the good God assigns to this work, and to the living history written in the minds and hearts of the people to whom they ministered. If the real work of a pastor is his spiritual achievement, the only work of an assistant pastor is certainly this!
In his two years at St. Francis Xavier, Father McGuire left an image of a truly friendly, humorous and holy man; a rather admirable combination of qualities in any priest. He was succeeded in the Summer of 1949by Father Robert Wells, and the period of the new church building began. Spearheaded by the driving power of the pastor, Father
Dooling, priests and people alike pushed forward the start and finish of the work. There is little need to recount at length the work of Father Dooling in building our magnificlent church. Many of our young people have been eye-witnesses to this great work. They themselves, as children, opened the doors of their homes to Father Dooling as he and Mr. Anthony Giuliano, a parish trustee, walked the streets of this parish from end to end seeking the funds with which to erect the church building.
These same children, now grown to adulthood, saw Father Dooling climbing the scaffolding of the new building to personally check on the work as it progressed. Indeed, both the young and old in those days were fully aware of the extent to which Father Dooling was wedded to the work of erecting the church. His presence was felt continuously as the edifice rose from its foundations and thrust its great stone cross high against the sky. No rest nor respite was his until the House of God was completed and became the Home of the Living Lord Jesus in the Tabernacle .
Truly, those days were pregnant with pride and progress, but they also contained deep disappointment and a touch of discouragement. The pride and progress came from the hearts and converted efforts of priests and people. Father Owens, known personally in friendship to the writer, was particularly enthused over the work, and his dreams and plans melded with those of this pastor. The building of the church, however, was not all bubbling enthusiasm and stirring success; set-backs, sometimes stealthily and other times stubbornly, slipped into the picture. Father Dooling had the headache and heartache of not having sufficient land, but, by dint of effort and ingenuity, he finally obtained at least enough property to fulfill minimum requirements. The striking of rock proved a mixed blessing. The rock turned out to be a whole shelf of stone. Delay followed delay, but in the end the thought that the church was firmly fixed on immovable rock was greatly consoling. In the more than 12 years since its completion not a single crack has appeared in the church walls, and the building has not sunk even a single inch.