Our History

“To be a healing presence in any and all situations” are words prayed daily by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia. This healing aspect of living our mission has its origins in our very roots and is the legacy that has been passed on to us at Saint Joseph Villa.

The Sisters of St. Joseph came to Philadelphia in 1847 and established a Motherhouse in the Chestnut Hill section of the city at the former home of the Middleton family. In their founding years in Philadelphia, the sick or dependent elderly members of the Congregation lived at the Motherhouse in Mount Saint Joseph Convent.

By the turn of the century the Motherhouse Infirmary could no longer give the medical care to the increasing number of sisters needing it. In 1908 the Congregation established Saint Joseph Villa in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania which served the community until the early 1960’s when the need for expansion exceeded the zoning regulations for Cheltenham Township.

As a result, ground was broken for a new Saint Joseph Villa in Flourtown, PA on May 1, 1965 and the first sister residents moved into the Villa on June 21, 1968.

Health care needs have developed rapidly since the opening of the Villa in 1968. In 1981, in a conscious effort to exercise just stewardship and to provide opportunities for mutual enrichment, Saint Joseph Villa was opened to other religious congregations and lay women and men in need of nursing care.

Thus, our call to be a healing presence and to offer loving service was extended to our dear neighbors as we established Saint Joseph Villa as a skilled nursing home licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Saint Joseph Villa has been responding to the signs of the times and the mission of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph since 1908. The sisters remain committed to continuing this mission and to meeting the challenges of health care in the future.

The Maxims of the Sisters of Saint Joseph are short sayings of wisdom given to our first sisters but meant for all persons who aspire to make a difference in the world:

Have good intentions in whatever you do, but always mind your ego!

—SSJ Maxim 83