Early in 1892, Bishop Michael O'Farrell asked the Franciscan Fathers at Saints
Peter and Paul on Spruce Street to establish and care for a mission in East Camden,
also known as Pavonia. In February, 1892, the first Mass was celebrated for the new
parish in Wright's Hall on Howell Street, and a new church dedicated in December, 1893.
Diocesan priests assumed the care of the parish beginning in 1897. In November, 1963,
after Archbishop Damiano requested the change, St. Joseph's Church became the Diocese's
Pro-Cathedral. Larger than the Cathedral, St. Joseph's has served as the site for a
number of significant diocesan ceremonies, including the Funeral Mass of Archbishop
Damiano, several ordinations to the priesthood, and the installation of Bishop
Guilfoyle. Today, the parish serves a heavy Hispanic Catholic population.