first house of worship was purchased in 1927 by Father
Phillip Bartoccetti, OSB, at a cost of $1,350. It had
been built three years earlier by the baptists.
St. Joseph's church was "the reward of the constant
and patient efforts of Father Phillip", according to
the Arma historian. He gathered the children into the
local movie theatre every Sunday for three years to
instruct them in their Faith. In 1929 the Capuchin
Fathers assumed responsibility for the parish. A
summer school began in August, 1931, conducted by
Father Vergil, assisted by two St. Joseph Sisters and
a lay volunteer, Rena Anselmi-Goodman. It was Mrs.
Goodman who continued to teach and prepare children
for the First Communion for 50 years. Mary
Burns, a postulant who left Arma in 1934 to enter the
Sisters of St. Joseph, returned to St. Joseph's to
celebrate her golden jubilee last year. The
1930s also saw the establishment of a parish hall
which has since been enlarged. It was the church from
Arcadia which was purchased and moved to Arma for the
sum of $80.
The status of St. Joseph's changed in 1950 when a permanent pastor was assigned after the many devoted years by the Capuchin priests. Some of these were Fathers Damian Reick, Timothy Gattschalk, Flavian Meis, Alvin Werth, Vergil Kuhn, Hugh Rauwolf, Colman Schulte, and Jordan Hammel. Father Clifford Landis was first pastor. Volunteers under the supervision of Father John Reinkemeyer undertook the building of a new parish plant after the destruction of the hall by fire. First Mass was celebrated in the new building on Christmas Eve, 1964 in the new location just east of U.S. 69 and Arma Bypass.
St. Joseph's was blessed with the vocation of Father Joseph Gorentz who was ordained in 1966 and died in January, 1979.