Old Saint Joseph’s Church, founded by Jesuits in 1733, was the first Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia. Its present building on Willings Alley was built in 1839 and is unique in having no entrance visible from the street. Because of the anti- Catholic and anti- foreign sentiment in the 19th century, this configuration saved the church, both the present building and the original chapel, during Nativist riots.
The first congregation was founded by English Jesuit, Rev. Joseph Greaton, S.J.…
Philadelphia Congregations Early Records
When completed, the Philadelphia Congregations Early Records project will offer over 80,000 pages of records from Philadelphia’s oldest congregations, connecting the archives of Christ Church, St. George’s Methodist Church, Gloria Dei, Mikveh Israel, African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Episcopal Dioceses Archives, Presbyterian Historical Society, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and American Baptist Historical Society.
Digitized materials include minutes, account books, birth, marriage, death, and burial registers.
This project is supported by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.