Old St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church is Philadelphia’s
oldest Catholic community. It was founded by Jesuits in 1733 and is still
staffed by Jesuits and their lay colleagues. The community has been in
continuous existence since 1733.
The parish is located in the historic
Society Hill section of Philadelphia, just two blocks from Independence
Just as Society Hill is a vibrant,
growing, and diverse urban neighborhood, the Old St. Joseph’s
parish community is vibrant, growing, and diverse. Nearly half of the
1,200 registered members are single persons, though more and more young
families are joining the parish community.
Old St. Joseph’s draws parishioners from across the Philadelphia
metropolitan area. All persons are welcome at Old St. Joseph’s.
Parishioners have indicated that they are attracted by the welcoming
community, the parish’s continuing association with the Jesuits
and their distinctive spirituality, the parish’s extensive social
justice and outreach ministries, and the parish’s excellent liturgies
and liturgical music.
Old St. Joseph’s has a long social justice
and outreach tradition, devoting nearly 20% of its annual budget to
the care of the poor, the
sick, and the otherwise disadvantaged. In addition, the parish has
developed education, hospitality, faith formation, prayer and spirituality,
development, and ecumenical and interfaith programs consistent with
Jesuit and Archdiocesan apostolic priorities.
Old St. Joseph’s
has gained a reputation in the Philadelphia area for well-planned
and well-executed Eucharistic liturgies, including
music of the highest quality. The parish’s musical program draws
on the full musical tradition of the Church, from traditional hymnology
and Gregorian chant and polyphony, through Taverner and Byrd, to Elgar
and Bernstein. Parishioners understand that good liturgical music
is music that serves and enhances the liturgy, and that good liturgy
that promotes the full, active, and conscious participation by the
Assembly demanded by Vatican II.
Old St. Joseph's is committed to promoting
Gospel values and witnessing
to the presence of the beginnings of the Kingdom in our midst. Specifically,
we adopt apostolic priorities of the Maryland Province of the Society
of Jesus and we embrace its spirituality. We intend that our parish
reflect the qualities and characteristics of Jesuit parishes as
defined by the
Society in its recent General Congregation.
Despite our failings,
we trust in the love of God shown to us in Jesus.