About » History & Mission

History & Mission


Classes at St. Joseph School began in a home in 1894 and was staffed by the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse for the 40 families in the new parish in East Camden.  In 1927 the pastor bought St. Patrick’s Cemetery at 29th and Westfield Avenues.  Bodies were removed to the new Calvary Cemetery and construction began on a new school building.  Construction ended in 1929 and the new building served as both church and school for many years.

In January, 1952 grounds were broken for the new St. Joseph Church.    By 1956, there were 4300 parish families, a teaching staff of 20 Sisters of St. Francis, a school enrollment of 1125, PTA membership of 700, and First Communion classes of 260 children.  By 1960, the graduating class totaled 121.  Camden became a city in transition during the 1970s, but St. Joseph School (now Pro-Cathedral) remained a constant presence in East Camden.  In 1989, there were 350 students enrolled.

Today, there are 344 students enrolled in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade.  We offer many wrap-around services such as a Before School Program, Breakfast Program, Lunch Program, and Afterschool Program.  We also offer a Dual-language program as well as English as a Second Language services to non-English speaking students and speech services, as well as Compensatory Education.  Our children’s choir sings monthly at Sunday Mass and we have students involved in many extracurricular activities such as Girl Scouts, drama club and sports.    Additionally, on a Partnership level, we offer opportunities in Lego Robotics competitions, choir, musical instrument lessons, aviation adventures, and boys and girls basketball teams.  Our faculty consists of 18 certified teachers and a full-time counselor.

Mission Statement

Through the building of strong relationships St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral School provides a safe and nurturing atmosphere to a diverse community of students. We are committed to empowering and inspiring each child academically and spiritually for their life’s journey. We create a structured student centered environment rooted in respect, service and social justice based on the Gospel message of Jesus.