Jesuit Mission

Mission in Action

At the Prep, we allow the mission to lead the way and bring our mission to life.
By living the Gospel Message, St. Joseph's Prep strives to meet students and all citizens of the Prep where they are and works to create sustainable, faith-filled, contemplative, and active relationships with others and Jesus Christ.

The mission invites all members of the Prep:
  • To encounter Christ in daily life
  • To discover the personal call to live with Christ
  • To journey in relationship with Christ
  • To build authentic community because of Christ

Cura Urbi - Care for the City

St. Joseph’s Prep and the City of Philadelphia are intricately tied. For more than 170 years, the Prep has been nestled in the heart of the city, working to educate young boys who will become leaders in our world. In 1966, a terrible fire destroyed much of the school’s physical campus and the Jesuits who ran the Prep had a decision to make: leave the city to reestablish itself in the suburbs, or stay in a North Philadelphia neighborhood that was changing. Conventional wisdom said to leave but the Jesuits are anything but conventional. They chose to stay at 17th and Girard and now, over 50 years later, they look inspired as the school and city continue to be intertwined.

Being "Jesuit" Means

Our work is characterized by loyalty to the Church, availability for service, and a high-hearted love of Christ.

The education we provide is marked by “cura personalis,” which means attention to the individual student and respect for the individual’s potential and pace in learning. Jesuit education is characterized by adaptability to individual differences and needs, as well as to wider needs determined by a reading of the signs of the times.

We routinely engage in the practice of discernment, an effort to choose wisely in worldly matters by striving to align personal and institutional choice with the will of God. We share this practice with our students, helping them to choose wisely and well as they mature into men for and with others.

Prayer Request

If you have a special intention you would like the school to pray for during our Morning Prayer, please contact Mr. John Dougherty '04 at A Book of Intentions and Remembrance is also located in the White Chapel.

Liturgy and Prayer

Inspired by Ignatian Spirituality and sustained with the Sacramental Life of the Catholic Faith, the Mission and Ministry Office strives to offer a variety of liturgical and spiritual opportunities to address the needs of everyone here at the Prep.

Throughout the year, all students, faculty and staff, parents, family, alumni, and friends of the Prep have the opportunity to participate in liturgy and gather in prayer. This includes Celebration of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Daily Prayer, a weekly Examen, and many other styles of prayer to further enrich the spiritual life of our school community.

Adult Formation

From October 2022 to May 2023, a dozen Prep colleagues took part in the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises.

“The graces of the Spiritual exercises are meant to inspire us to serve others.”
- Rev. Steve Surovick, S.J., Senior Director of Mission and Ministry

Through prayer and reflection participants were drawn into a deeper relationship with God. Mrs. Jenny Mars, Main Office Manager and a participant, looks forward to influencing Prep students on Kairos or on service trips. “​I hope that I can share this experience with our students so that they can learn, at a much younger age, that a relationship with God can grow and evolve.” 

Opportunities for adult formation at St. Joseph's Prep are always available.

Celebration of the Eucharist

As "the source and summit of our faith," the Celebration of the Eucharist is a foundational component for the spiritual life of our school. Once a month all students and colleagues gather for a school-wide liturgy. Additionally, daily mass or communion services are offered before the beginning of each school day in the White Chapel. Many clubs, sports, alumni organizations, and other school groups seek to celebrate masses as well.

For a complete schedule of masses or if you are interested in holding a mass for your team, activity, or club, please contact Mr. John Dougherty '04 at

Worship Opportunities

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available throughout the week, upon request. Our Jesuit priests are available to hear confessions from students, faculty, and staff. If you would like help setting up these times, please contact the Mission & Ministry office.

Each of our class retreats offers an extended opportunity for our students to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We will also offer select days during the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent for our school community to receive the sacrament.

Additional Prayer Opportunities

At different times during the year, various prayer opportunities such as Adoration, the Rosary, praise and worship, Lectio Divina, Spiritual Reading Discussion Groups, Small Group Faith Sharing, Spiritual Direction, and Ignatian Contemplation are offered to our students, faculty and staff, parents, and alumni. Advertisements for these opportunities are sent through email and posted around the school.

If you are interested in participating or would like to start a prayer group of your own, please contact the Mission and Ministry Office. Our staff along with the Mission and Ministry Leadership Board are eager to assist you in any way that we can.

Jesuit Vocation

Do you know how to "DAYDREAM"? How about this - Imagine yourself a Jesuit.

Did you know that St. Joseph’s Prep is one of the Society of Jesus’ best producers of Jesuits? Currently the Prep has numerous alumni in formation, plus several graduates who have recently been ordained? Take a minute to learn more about this vocation. Go to to learn more.

  • Mr. Jake Braithwaite, SJ ‘07
  • Mr. Brendan Coffey, SJ ‘04
  • Rev. Kevin Hughes SJ '04
  • Rev. Vince Marchionni, SJ ‘04
  • Rev. AJ Rizzo, SJ ’99
  • Rev. Bill Woody, SJ ‘07

Alumni Service Corps

The Alumni Service Corps (ASC) is a 10-month volunteer program for St. Joseph's Preparatory School alums who have recently graduated from college. Alums work in a variety of different jobs at the Prep and are assigned responsibilities in co-curriculars, sports, clubs, retreats, and service projects. In return for this work, ASC members live in community together and receive housing and a stipend for food and other expenses.