Worship began in this area around land consecrated by a Fr Hugh O’Donnell in 1797.
Land here was donated by a wealthy Catholic landowner called John Hamill -
When the linen industry was established in Ulster in the early 18th century Lisburn and surrounding districts drew many families to reside in the countryside around Hannahstown.Hannahstown got its name from the fact that seven families with the name Hanna resided there.
In those days this district was more densely populated than it is today. One could look up at the hills and see small cottages occupied by skilled craftsmen working in the linen trade. They would till their patches of ground around their dwellings.Before the construction of a church mass was said wherever possible. There are many mass rocks located in Colin's Glen and a family named Steele kept the sacred vessels and vestaments for the priests.
In 1826 John McGance of Suffolk, a Presbyterian landowner gave the then Parish Priest of Hannahstown Fr Charles Hendron and acre of ground to enlarge the graveyard together with £20 towards a new church.…
(THIS EXTRACT TAKEN FROM THE BOOK: "A HISTORY OF THE PARISH OF ST.JOSEPH'S, HANNAHSTOWN" PRINTED BY ULSTER JOURNALS LTD)