Old St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church
Old St. Joseph's Church was the first Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1733.
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 Hall.
Old St. Joseph’s history spans the shift from an Anglo-American Catholic Church with a few thousand adherents in the 18th century to an immigrant church of 4.5 million in the post-Civil War era, concentrated in American cities. Despite rising anti-foreign and anti-Catholic forces in the 19th century, Old St. Joseph’s successfully negotiated this shift because of its roots in Quaker tolerance, its hidden site, and the gifted leadership of its Jesuit pastors. Perhaps the most prominent was the Rev. Felix Joseph Barbelin, S.J., (1808-1869), Old St. Joseph’s “second founder,” who built the present church in 1839 and St. Joseph’s College in 1851. A memorial plaque commemorating his long pastorate graces the south façade of the church.
Be sure to check out Old St. Joseph's official website to learn more about its rich history in Philadelphia.
Baptism of Mathew and Isaac Ivory
Mathew Ivory (born 1809) and his brother Isaac were baptized at Old St. Joseph's on 26 August 1810. This baptismal records is the only document that shows both Mathew (Sr.) and Ann McNulty together and the only document that provides her maiden name. This is also the first record that documents Mathew (Jr.) and his life.
Ivory, the 26th [August], by same [Rev. W. V. Harold], Mathew, born July 16, 1809, of Mathew Ivory, Catholic, and his wife Ann McNulty, non-Catholic; sponsors – Thomas and Rose Ann Uncleson.
-, the 26th, by same, Isaac, born ---, of same parents; same sponsors.
Photo Gallery of Old St. Joseph's
Note: The photos below are not the same building that existed in 1810 when Mathew and Isaac were baptized. The current building was built and dedicated in 1839.
360˚ Photo Sphere of Old St. Joseph's
Below is a 360˚ photo sphere of Old St. Joseph's that I took while I was there. It provides you with a 360˚ experience of being in the courtyard there at St. Joseph's. (Hint: Use your mouse to click and drag around inside the photo.)