In the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching and rooted in the heritage of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, we empower children and families to lead responsible lives and develop healthy relationships built on faith, hope and love.
St. Mary’s Villa for Children and Families was founded in 1911 as an orphanage for boys. As the increasing number of boys crowded the home in Conshohocken, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth realized it was time to acquire a new location. St. Mary’s moved in 1936 to the Lindenwold Estate in Ambler, PA. The spacious grounds made it possible to expand.
The programs continued to develop and grow to meet the needs of the boys and now, girls. Over the years and as children’s needs changed, the Sisters met the challenges. A strengthened health and medical program was developed. Increased attention was paid to families, resulting in children being reunited with them. Changes to the program strengthened St. Mary’s mission to empower children and families.
Through the 1950’s and ‘60s, St. Mary’s went through extensive changes. Ground was broken for a new school building, chapel, convent, dining room and kitchen, gymnasium/auditorium and additional living areas for the children.
In the latter half of the century, the children under St. Mary’s care required more specialized services. Many were abused, abandoned or needed extra supervision and attention in school and in their residences. Social work services and appropriate therapies continue to be offered to the children placed in the agency’s care. Programs are constantly examined to help meet the changing needs of the children.
Today, St. Mary’s Villa for Children and Families is a subsidiary of its sister agency, Holy Family Institute in Pittsburgh. In 2001, the agencies combined resources to solidify and guarantee the good works begun by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
St. Mary’s Villa for Children and Families is recognized as a preeminent provider of services for abused and neglected children in the greater Philadelphia area.
Restoring Hope, Transforming Lives.
The primary objective of the care provided by St. Mary’s is the successful reintegration of a child with his or her family and/or home community. This is best accomplished by drawing on each child’s strengths and resources – whenever possible, in partnership with the child’s family.
We value: Family Perspective, Dignity, Excellence and Community