September 11, 2019 is St. Joseph’s 70th Anniversary of the Church’s dedication.
Throughout this year, we will be sharing remembrances from some of
St. Joseph’s families.
If you would like to share your St. Joseph memories, please contact: Jamie Hall at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edition #1 - June Derrick
“Get involved with the wonderful ministries we have at St. Joseph’s.” This is June Niggel Derrick’s advice to all our parishioners. June has not only been a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church for many years, but also was a member of our original parish, St. Francis de Sales, which was located at 516 Maple Street.
June's father, Carl Joseph Niggel, Sr., came to Columbia in 1899 to assist in the carving of the corinthian caps on the stone columns of the front portico of the State House. He married her mother, Margaret Elizabeth Modlin, in 1905 and had seven children. June's mother did not become a member of the Church until about thirteen years after her marriage, and then was a devout Catholic, even playing the organ at St. Francis de Sales for years. She was also named "Catholic Woman of the Year" in 1953. They are considered to be one of the original founding families of St. Francis de Sales Parish - soon to become St. Joseph's. June, born in 1930, is the only living member of the family left, and has three daughters of her own, as well as six grandchildren, of whom she's very proud.
One of her earliest memories of attending Mass at St. Francis de Sales was Brownie. Brownie was Father Mackin’s dog who used to wander around the “wooden hut”. This was an old Fort Jackson building which had been donated to the church in which Mass was celebrated. In 1945, the Diocese received the bequest from Monsignor Charles Wood, along with a $125,000 donation, to build a church and be named St. Joseph Catholic Church. June’s brother, Carl Joseph Niggel, Jr. worked tirelessly to raise the matching funds to build St. Joseph Catholic Church for $250,000. As you can see, the Niggel family was committed to supporting our parish in any way they could.
Service to others is a vital part of June's faith and she models her beliefs. She's involved in St. Vincent de Paul, Clean of Heart, Women's Society, and St. Joseph's "One" Ministry. We are blessed to have her as one of our parish's original treasures!
Edition #2 - Henry and Carmella Martin
Celebrating their 72th wedding anniversary this August, Henry and Carmella Martin are still holding hands like they did for the first time at the midnight showing of the movie of the week, back in 1943. This adorable couple are two of St. Joseph’s treasures. They have been blessed with four children, ten grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren, and have served as wonderful examples on how to live a faith-filled life.
Henry was extremely active with the St. Joseph’s “Men’s Club,” a group of 50 plus men, which provided a monthly parish-wide meal for over two years, built a fence around the church, and purchased hymn books for the parish. Henry was also instrumental in starting the football and basketball programs for Catholic High School, encouraging Columbia area coaches to allow Catholic High teams to use their facilities for practices and games. Not only did Henry serve the Catholic community in Columbia, but also served our city and state through basketball and their family owned restaurant, Villa Tronco. Henry has been honored for his contributions, being named to the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame, SC Basketball Officials Hall of Fame and the SC Hall of Fame for Restaurant Associations.
Carmella, also a member of the S.C. Hall of Fame for Restaurant Associations, is a member of the graduating class of 1942 from Ursuline High. She and her classmates still meet monthly at Villa Tronco. She loved the Ursuline Sisters, especially, Mother Cosma, Sister Josephine and Sister Anthony. When she was a child, she had aspirations of becoming a nun, often attending Mass twice a day.
Living their faith and loving their parish and community, has served them well. St. Joseph and Columbia have been extremely fortunate to have Henry and Carmella Martin as active faith-filled members.
Edition #3 - Dolores Brown
In this season of giving, we are highlighting one of our parishioners who has a special story of giving to St. Joseph Parish.
When Dolores Brown was in elementary school at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic and Ursuline Academy in Cumberland, Maryland, she regularly prayed for a mission church in Columbia, SC and participated in fundraisers raising money for the building of the mission church’s school. Her father, George Conner, worked for an ice cream company and donated candy bars to raffle off to raise funds for this special mission, as well.
Ironically, this mission was for St. Joseph Catholic Church and School in Columbia, SC.
Many years later, her husband, Timothy, was transferred to Columbia, SC, and Dolores and her family joined St. Joseph’s, the mission church for which she had prayed. And two of her children attended the same school that was built with funds that she, as an elementary school child, had raised.
The mustard seed she planted as a child, though small, grew large, and her small act of love helped change lives.
Edition #4 - L.A. and Natalie Marsha
“The Lord’s shovel is bigger than mine.” These are the words by which L.A. Marsha’s father lived. “I was always in awe of how giving my father was and have tried to live my life accordingly,” reflected L.A. Marsha, Jr. His father, Leon Marsha, Sr. traveled to New York frequently for his textile business, and when his parish, St. Francis de Sales, was in need of funds to build St. Joseph church, he reached out to his friends and clients in New York (some Catholic and some Jewish), and they responded generously.
L.A., a life-long member of St. Francis de Sales & St. Joseph parishes, first glimpsed the love of his life, Natalie, when she was dancing with her date at a fraternity party back in 1950. Naturally, he didn’t want to miss this opportunity to dance with this lovely young lady, so he did what all smart fellas do, he cut in! And he must have made an impression, because that evening Natalie wrote in her diary that she had met L.A. Marsha. They will be celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary this December surrounded by their family, which includes their four children, ten grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.
Natalie and L.A., were committed to raising their children in the Catholic faith, and regularly attended Sunday Masses and CCD every Wednesday with their family. They have also been involved in many of the parish’s activities, including the Fall Fiesta and fundraising campaigns for the stained glass windows, hand bell choir and the Rowland Education Building.
After 73 years of being a devout Methodist, but also a regular attendee at Catholic Masses, Natalie converted in 2006. One of her favorite things about St. Joseph’s is the quiet of the sanctuary. “I love arriving early for Mass to enjoy the quiet and peace in our beautiful church.” L.A. shared, “I worry about the people who talk about not wanting to be a part of an organized religion. I love the stability of the Catholic faith. You can always depend on it.” St. Joseph’s is blessed to have this special couple as a part of our parish family.
Edition #5 - Doris Marsha Wilson Woest
At her funeral this past November, Monsignor Rowland reflected that not much happened at St. Joseph’s without Doris’ approval.
Doris Marsha Wilson Woest was an active, dedicated and strong leader at St. Joseph Catholic Church her whole life. She was born in February of 1925, baptized at St. Francis de Sales Parish, and her life was celebrated at a Mass for Christian Burial at St. Joseph’s this past November.
Not only was she an Extraordinary Minister, a member of the Women’s Society, served on the Bishop’s board, Vice President of Catholic Charities, but she also volunteered in the church office for many years. Doris and her husband, John Andrew Wilson, had 6 children and one foster daughter, but suffered the loss of 2 daughters and one son at very young ages. After the loss of their children, she grew even stronger in her faith and her commitment to her parish. She fondly remembered her time as a volunteer in the school cafeteria and loved “playground duty.” She recalled an instance where a stray kickball came barreling at her, causing her to be “unable to walk for weeks!”
Many years after her husband, John, passed away, she met James Woest through St. Joseph’s Senior Life ministry. She reminisced that Sister Julianne pulled her aside to warn her “that old man was looking for a wife.” Three months later, at the ages of 80 and 77, respectively, James and Doris were married in the church, where she wore a special wedding dress to celebrate their union. Six years later, James passed away.
When asked what advice she would give to members of St. Joseph, she felt that getting involved was the best way to make St. Joseph your home, and she recommended that we have a Greeters Ministry to welcome people at the entrances of the church before Masses. Lucky for us, that’s in the works, and it’s great to know that we have Doris’ approval!
Note: I was fortunate enough to interview Doris by phone in August of 2018 before she passed away in November. Jamie Hall
Edition #6 -
The Bultman Family - Julie Rotureau and Terry Hodaly
The seeds of a strong faith were sown early on in the Bultman family –their heritage in South Carolina’s Catholic community goes back to the mid 1800’s when Karl Wilhelm Bultmann first settled here. The Bultman family is a big one, and there are many branches on the family tree, but our focus is on the branch that reaches to St. Joseph’s. That brings us to Johnny Bultman (3rd generation of the Bultman family) who married Julia Abbott, and joined several other families in the founding of St. Francis de Sales Parish, and then subsequently, St. Joseph’s. They had three children; one of them being, Anna Katherine, who was the mother of two of our current parishioners and sisters, Julie Rotureau and Terry Hodaly.
Julie and Terry grew up several blocks from St. Joseph’s in their grandparents’ home and their family life revolved around the church. One of Julie’s first memories was when their grandfather was ill, and even though she was at school, she asked to go see Monsignor Kamler because she was so worried about her grandfather. When Monsignor came to check on their grandfather, they pulled out the Sick Call Crucifix Set, and he proceeded with the blessing and anointing. The list of fond memories for these two lifelong parishioners is long, but here are some; their regular seats were on the back pew at Mass, always attending the earliest service on Christmas Day (6:30 AM!) before opening presents, not being allowed to go to sleep overs on Saturday nights because Mass was the next day, their Grandfather being the “Bingo Caller,” their Grandmother’s involvement with the Guild, the Fall Fiesta, and much more.
Julie and Terry are still making memories with their own families, and obviously, the seeds planted are still growing. Both sisters serve our Catholic community in their work, with Julie working at Family Honor, and Terry working at Cardinal Newman. Julie, and her husband, John, have three children; Katie, Jake (Sarah) and Rebecca, and grandchildren; Bella, Charlie, and Bailey. This parish and its parishioners were here for Julie and John when their lost their baby son, Johnny. “Our parish has been my home since my birth and hopefully, to my death,” shared, Julie. Terry, and her husband, Tawfiq, have three kids; Sophie (Vladimir), Richard and Michael, and their grandchildren; Alyssa, Dyllan, Amy and Christopher. Terry shared “St. Joseph’s was very good to our mother and grandparents. Our love for our faith is in our blood.” And Julie chimed in that “every sacrament that we have received has been celebrated here at St. Joseph’s.”
Karl Wilhelm Bultmann would have been proud to see the fruit of the seeds that were sown so many years ago.
Special Note: Mrs. Mary DeLay, member of St. Joseph, is also a member of the Bultman family – Second Cousin of Julie and Terry. Mrs. Delay graciously declined to be interviewed for this article.
Ernest J. Nauful, Jr.
Ernie Nauful has proved his father’s belief true – “no matter how much you give in service and treasure to the church and its community, it comes back to you in so many ways.” Ernie began his service to the Catholic community in Columbia by serving as an Altar Server at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, as a child and continued as an adult at St. Joseph’s. Throughout his years as a young adult, his involvement continued, even working with the Newman Club while in law school. Ernie, and his wife, Brenda, a convert to the Catholic faith, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past December, and still enjoy serving the St. Joseph’s community. Ernie serves as an Extraordinary Minister of Communion, Lector, member of the Finance Council and has chaired and co-chaired many capital campaigns for our St. Joseph’s; raising funds to renovate the church, build the new rectory and the Ministries and Administration Building.
Ernie feels strongly that “giving back” is extremely rewarding for all involved, but truly treasures attending Mass and receiving the Eucharist. For Ernie, the greatest gift is receiving Jesus who continues to give him strength and peace.