Educating and Serving Philadelphia's
Immigrant Community

"In the just and compassionate spirit of Saint Joseph, the Welcome Center offers opportunities that enable immigrants and others to improve the quality of their lives through access to education, support services and programs leading to self-sufficiency. This neighborhood center in urban Philadelphia extends hospitality, linking newcomers and persons with resources for the enrichment of both." Mission of the SSJ Welcome Center

"We live and work so that all people will be united with God and with one another." Mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph

The Sisters of Saint Joseph Welcome Center is a sponsored work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. The SSJ Welcome Center is staffed by 4 Sisters of Saint Joseph, who live and work at the center, in addition to 2 full time and 3 part time lay-employees. There are also a number of Sisters who work part-time at the center and a great team of volunteers!


Sisters of Saint Joseph History in Philadelphia

The Sisters of Saint Joseph have embraced our mission, to unite all people with one another and God, since our foundation in 17th century France. Throughout the years our sisters have lovingly cared for people in need and responded to the emerging needs of people in many countries. In 1847 the Sisters of Saint Joseph emigrated from Europe and eventually arrived in Philadelphia. Their first ministry in Philadelphia was to staff Saint John's Orphanage for boys. As other needs arose, the sisters generously responded. Soon they were described as being "ready for any good work". They continue to respond to the suffering and injustices of our time. They have a history of teaching in Philadelphia, serving the arriving immigrant populations of Italians, Irish, Polish, and Germans, in schools including Epiphany, Stella Maris, Nativity BVM, Saint Anne's, Visitation BVM, and Ascension of Our Lord. It is this spirit that led them to respond to the needs of today's immigrant community in Philadelphia by opening the SSJ Welcome Center, located on Allegheny Avenue in Kensington, in 2003.

SSJ Welcome Center Staff

  • Marian Behrle SSJ
  • Nancy Bordewick
  • Maureen Burke Iannacone
  • Patricia Madden SSJ
  • Kathy McShane SSJ, Director
  • Tasha Mercer
  • Lizam Morales
  • Rosa Murcia Garcia
  • Miguel Ramos
  • Connie Trainor SSJ

SSJ Welcome Center Advisory Board

  • Sister Regina Bell SSJ
  • Mr. David Bontempo
  • Mr. Butler Buchanan
  • Mr. Timothy Callahan
  • Mr. Jesus Campos
  • Mr.Kenneth Cooper
  • Mr.Andre DelValle
  • Mr. Terrence Foley
  • Sister Deborah Hughes SSJ
  • Ms. Cara McMahon
  • Ms. Elizabeth Wood
  • Ms.Rebecca Little
  • Mr. Anthony Lloyd
  • Mr. Chris Cooper
  • Ms. Emily Schademan
  • Ms. Caitlin Sullivan
  • Mr. Bob Tammaro
  • Fr. Bob Bazzoli
  • Sister Kathy McShane SSJ
  • Sister Kathleen Anderson SSJ, Facilitator
  • Sister Mary Scullion RSM, Honorary Member