Among the buildings that were severely damaged by the 1938 hurricane was the former Episcopal Methodist Church on the northwesterly side of Main St. in the village of Hope Valley. Hope Valley is one of several small villages in the town of Hopkinton. Bishop Hickey purchased the Episcopal Methodist church property on behalf of the diocese in 1922. The church, which held about a hundred people, had been built originally in Rockville, but, in 1951, had been taken down, board by board and re-erected in Hope Valley. After the bishop acquired the property, the Marist Fathers at Immaculate Conception, Westerly, had the building remodeled and began saying Mass in the church in June 1923., after Bishop Hickey dedicated the new mission to St. Joseph. While the mission served many nationalities, a large part of the population of the new mission were Polish immigrants and their families. The Polish families had come to the town to work in the Nichols and Langworthy Machine Company on Mechanic St. In addition to the Catholic families in Hopkinton, the mission also served other families scattered through the towns of West Greenwich, Exeter, and Richmond. With the establishment of the Yawgoog Scout Camp in neighboring Rockville and later the CCC Camp of Veterans in the Acadia State forest the boys and Catholics among the veterans also came to Mass in Hope Valley.
The hurricane caused St. Joseph's Church steeple to fall into the building, so badly damaging it, that Hopkinton's inspector of buildings condemned the structure. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Fr. Daniel Sullivan, S.M., at Immaculate Conception, arranged to use the Grange Hall, the former Advent Church, before it was purchased by the Grange, as a convenient place to offer mass. The renting of the hall was a practical arrangement for the moment. Fr. Arthur Sullivan's report on the religious conditions of the young men who were enrolled at the CCC camps suggested that the religious education of the boys from the rural areas of the state was being neglected. As a practical step towards remedying that situation, Bishop Keough undertook to have the remains of the old St. Joseph's church removed and a new, much larger church built on the same site that would be the center of a new parish in Hopkinton. In October 1939, while the new church was still under construction, Bishop Keough transferred Fr. Jeremiah P. Murphy from St. Andrew's, Block Island, to be the first pastor of the new parish of St. Joseph's. Fr. Sullivan introduced Fr. Murphy to the people of St. Joseph's on Sunday, October 15, 1939. At the time of its founding, there were ninety-five families in the parish. For almost two years, Fr. Murphy lived in rented quarters, until the parish was able to purchase a rectory on August 12, 1941. Bishop Keough dedicated the new church, with a seating capacity of 310, on June 9, 1940. An important part of the new structure was the parish hall in the basement beneath the church. Fr. Murphy began utilizing the hall as early as the previous March, when the first parish societies were organized.
The first pastor of St. Joseph's, Fr. Jeremiah P. Murphy was, like the great majority of the priests appointed pastor at this time, a first generation American. He was born in Newport on October 27, 1888. After graduating from his parish school, St. Joseph's, he went to the local public high school before studying at Holy Cross College and St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, where he was ordained on May 27, 1914. In the summer and fall of 1914, he served as an assistant in Our Lady of Mercy, East Greenwich, and divided his time between Oakland Beach and Conimicut. In January 1915, he was appointed assistant at St. Edward's, Pawtucket. After two years in Pawtucket, her was transferred to St. Patrick's, Valley Falls, where he served for twenty years before being appointed pastor of St. Andrew's Block Island.