Fortune Restoration has been hired for painting services to St. Joseph on various occasions. As an exterior paint contractor for this Church and rectory, Fortune Restoration has completed restoration projects to both the church and school. The door restoration is one example of the multiple projects completed for this Wilmette Parish. Extensive stripping was done to insure the cleanest surface was prepped and primed so the finish coat would look immaculate. Aside from exterior painting projects, Fortune Restoration has also worked with St. Joseph on interior painting projects for the school and gymnasium.
At a critical moment in the history of the parish, Msgr. Meter was able to put his talents to work in St. Joseph. It was the time of Vatican II with monumental changes in the liturgical life of the Church. Msgr. Meter helped to guide the parish through these great changes. At the same time, he successfully oversaw the transition of St. Joseph into a great suburban parish.
In 1981, Msgr. Meter retired and Fr. Donald Cusack, the rector of Quigley Seminary became the pastor. Again, it was a time of transition. Fr. Cusack was the first non-German pastor of the parish. The Sisters of St. Francis, who had staffed the parish school for more than one hundred years, were not able to continue their service to the parish. It was also the end of the post World War II “baby boom.” The dramatic demographic shifts in the population meant that there were far fewer children. Along with several public schools in the village that closed, St. Joseph School was forced to shut its doors in the Spring of 1986.
After guiding St. Joseph through twelve years of change, Fr. Cusack completed his two terms as pastor in 1993 and retired to become chaplain at St. Therese Hospital in Waukegan. He died November 17, 1996. On October 6, 1998, Msgr. Meter, who had continued to live at the parish, also passed away. Since 1993, much has transpired. The parish marked its 150th anniversary with great celebration in 1995. The school, which had been shuttered for ten years, has reopened. It began as a preschool in 1996. Then in 1998, the school was completely renovated and updated to serve children in preschool through eighth grade. The school population has already reached over 300 students and continues to grow. The Religious Education Program has also experienced a tremendous growth. It has more than doubled in size since 1998. The convent was also reopened in 1997 to house the Sisters of Christian Charity.