Philadelphia Sights

Old St. Joseph's Church

  • 321 Willings Alley Map It
  • Society Hill
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 02/01/2016

Fodor's Review

In 1733 a tiny chapel was established by Jesuits for Philadelphia's 11 Catholic families. It was one of the first places in the English-speaking colonies where Catholic mass could be legally celebrated, a right granted under William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges, which guaranteed religious freedom. But freedom didn't come easy; on one occasion Quakers had to patrol St. Joseph's to prevent a Protestant mob from disrupting the service. The present church, built in 1839, is the third on this site. The late-19th-century stained-glass windows are notable.

Sight Information


321 Willings Alley, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106, USA

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Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Daily 9:30–4:30; mass Mon.–Sat. 12:05, Sat. 5:30, Sun. 7:30, 9:30, 11:30, 6:30
  • A free, self-guided audio tour is available for download on the church's website

Published 02/01/2016


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