History of St Joseph's
St Joseph's Chapel (Capilla San Jose) opened for business in June 1981. The Archbishop of Dublin at the time Dr Dermot Ryan offered the first Mass. The occasion was further enhanced by the then President of Ireland Dr Patrick Hillary.
Mrs Margaret Fitzpatrick First President pictured with group in 1982
St Joseph's was the brainchild of Dublin solicitor and property developer Frank Fitzpatrick who as one of the Las Rampas developers made sure space was alloted for a place of worship. Frank had the philosophy of bringing Christ to the market place. This aspiration had its origins in Dublin when for the Holy Year in 1975 the Fitzpatrick and Dunne (of supermarket fame) families came up with the idea of a mobile chapel which was located adjacent to Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt in Dublin and had a Mass each day at 1pm. Such was the popularity of this 'Chapel of Ease' that it became permanent and lasts to this day albeit now a more substantial structure. Frank was ably assisted throughout by his wife Margaret.
Meanwhile Las Rampas was coming on nicely and a Chapel area was designated actually in the same location as today but without a roof or windows, just wrought iron railings down each side. Daily Mass was celebrated at 1pm followed by the Rosary. The Dublin office of the Fitzpatricks booked the original priests arranging air travel and accomodation in the Las Rampas Hotel. interestinly there was no Sunday Collections in those days and all expences were paid for by Frank Fitzpatrick!
In the mid eighties a group of people including Sean Sheehan, Sally Aherne approached Frank and suggested that because of his many commercial activities that a Council be appointed to take over the running and the maintenance of the Chapel. This was agreed and following a call for volunteers the first committee was elected. Jim Sharkey was elected President, Sean Sheehan Secretary and Sally Aherne Treasurer. The other members were Noreen Newell, Louis Riffo, Claire Titley and Christy Doyle.
The most pressing problem for the new Committee was finance. Treasurer Sally set up a fund raising campaign which was very successful.
From day one there never was a shortage of volunteers to manage the chapel and a great debt of gratitude is owed to the original Council not to mention their successors over the subsequent years such as Jack Brady, Colin Bancroft, Mary Pearcey, Jim and Jean Fenton and Jack Mooney, Annie Cossins down to our current President Carol Fay to name but a few.
Eventually the wrought iron fence was replaced by solid walls and Dunnes Stores kindly fitted a roof. The biggest problem over the years appeared to be the leaking roof which necessitiated ongoing maintenance efforts!! Apart from some refurbishment work done in 2013 it remained as it was to the renovations in 2016.
In 2009 the then council had ambitious plans to seek extra accomodation including the provision of toilets by way of a large storeroom attached to the Chapel. It was assumed at the time that this belonged to Dunnes Stores but it was discovered that one of the owners was a spanish lawyer who is the Irish Consul on the Costa but he refused to rent the space. A fresh effort was made by the then President Jack Mooney but to no avail.
In 2010 the Community became the proud owners of the Chapel. Whilst some recommendation for change was examined the Council decided to maintain the Chapel as it was with its own special Atmosphere.
in 2013 some work was done which included the provision of a new altar area; the relocation of the Blessed Sacrament from the original oratory to the main Chapel; new lighting and general maintenance work.
In 2016 the chapel was completely renovated and at last incorporated much of the original ambitious plans of the founders.
To this day a voluntary Council manages the Chapel in much the same way as the originating Committee. In 2005 the chapel was recognised as a Catholic Church by the Spanish Authorities and not a Corporate Body with the adoption of Statutes in accordance with Spanish Law.
Sadly Frank Fitzpatrick passed to the Lord on 27th January 2020. Just before he died the family forwarded to St Josephs a booklet 'Holy Year Oratory Cornelscourt 1974 - 2014.
It outlines the foundation and development of Cornelscourt which provided Frank with the idea of St Joseph's. We are pleased to provide a link to the booklet below.
Jesus is God, therefore His love, His Thirst, is infinite.
He the creator of the universe, asked for the love of all His creatures.
He thirsts for our love ......These words;
I Thirst - Do they echo in our souls?
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta