What began almost 150 years ago in a small, humble building made of unplained pine, is now a vibrant Catholic congregation that continues to grow in faith and in numbers. The new St. Joseph's church is a place of wonder, reverence, thanksgiving and praise. It represents the congregation's ever-expanding, fundamental need for community and worship. It truly is a testament to the faith and growth of its community of believers.
The architectural style is contemporary Spanish/Mediterranean. The visionary blending of natural surroundings, the use of color, texture and symbol in such a Domus Ecclesiae, the House of the Church, creates a powerful sense of hospitality. At the same time, there is a humbleness in the materials used - dignity and beauty bringing harmony to its form and style.
Positioned at the intersection of Loretto, Greenland, St. Augustine and Hood Landing Roads, the new St. Joseph's Church is a 26,000 square foot structure located on 17 acres of land. More than 2,200 people may gather for worship at any one time. Under the leadership of Father Daniel Cody, the architect and builder guided the long and arduous process. They are all well known in their fields - General Contractor L. C. Gaskins, Inc. and Architect Rick Swisher.
Larry C. Gaskins, president of L.C. Gaskins Construction Company was awarded the contract to construct the new sanctuary. Gaskins, a long-time member fo the parish, received the 1999 Horizon Award for St. Joseph's new church by the Associated General Contractors of Greater Florida.
Architect Rick Swisher, AIA of Winter Park, was chosen to create the building's design. He brought to the project many years of experience in crafting Catholic churches in Central Florida and a thorough knowledge of sacred liturgy.
Together with project manager Frank Tally and the building committee, the construction and design team has created a beautiful landmark in Mandarin and an exciting new chapter in the history of St. Joseph's Church.
The Building Committee and parishioners gathered on June 15, 1997 to break ground for the new church. Pictured from left to right: Father Bernard Ahern, Deacon Sal Diadone, Mary Mackmiller, Susan Cleveland, Frank Tally, Father Dan Cody, Deacon Mike Leahy and John Alexander.