Alumni of St. Francis-St. Joseph Homes for Children will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of what were then separate institutions on Sunday, Sept. 8, rain or shine, at the main campus, Route 13 and Street Road, Bensalem. Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. followed by a picnic.
St. Francis was founded in 1888 by Elizabeth, (St.) Katharine and Louise Drexel as St. Francis Industrial School, a vocational training facility for adolescent boys who aged out of the former St. John’s Orphan Asylum.
St. Joseph’s House for Industrious Boys was founded approximately the same time by Father Eugene V. McElhone with a similar mission, but initially accepting homeless adolescent boys straight from the streets of Philadelphia.
The two institutions have operated as a single institution on the Bensalem campus and in community-based group homes since 1998. At this point St. Francis-St. Joseph is virtually the last man standing of what once was a huge archdiocesan network of residential homes for non-delinquent children at risk.
The St. Francis-St. Joseph alumni invite former residents of all the former homes to the celebration.
For more information call Dick Kolb 856-303-1463.
— By Lou Baldwin