Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Old Saint Joseph’s Church
About Old St. Joseph’s Church:
When we think of the early settlers of the English Colonies, which later became the U.S., we usually associate them with a quest for religious freedom. But such freedom did not extend to Catholics in the early 18th Century. In fact, it was illegal to hold a Catholic Mass in public in nearby Maryland up until 1718.
Early English Jesuits fanned out from Maryland to Pennsylvania, where William Penn’s “Charter of Privileges for Pennsylvanians” guaranteed religious and civic freedom to “all who worshiped one God” – not just Protestants.
By 1733, the Jesuits founded the first Catholic church in Philadelphia, and it was actually the first urban Catholic church to be built in the British Colonies. There was some resistance from England, but Pennsylvania refused to obey, and the church was built. Old St. Joseph’s sacramental records, among the earliest in the nation, record 8,850 baptisms before 1810.
Traveling to Old St. Joseph’s Church in Philadelphia:
Old Saint Joseph’s Church is located just two blocks from Independence Hall.
Address: 321 Willings Alley, Philadelphia, PA 19106
GPS coordinates: 39° 56′ 47.6772” N, 75° 8′ 51.0360” W
Tel: +1 (215) 923-1733
Click here for the official website of Old Saint Joseph’s Church