St. Joseph the Worker Parish was established by the Most Reverend Henry P. Rohlman on November 1, 1949 in order to serve the west side of Dubuque which was rapidly expanding after World War II. The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Martin, former president of Loras College, was appointed the first pastor. Parishioners came from Cathedral, Nativity, St. Anthony and St. Columbkille to form the new parish of St. Joseph. The first Mass at St. Joseph Church was celebrated on Christmas Day, 1950.