History of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany

Franciscan Sisters of Allegany Sr Mary Teresa O'NeilFather Pamfilo, one of the friars of St. Bonaventure College established the Franciscan Sisters as a teaching community in 1859 and the Sisters opened St. Elizabeth Academy the following year to educate young women of that area. It was Sister Mary Teresa O'Neil, the first Superior General of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, who guided its growth as new schools were opened in Connecticut, New York and other eastern states. The original education mission expanded in 1883 to include hospital administration and health care; homes for young and elderly; pastoral and social work; and many more ministries. All of these were firmly rooted in the Franciscan philosophy of respect, hospitality and compassion to all regardless of faith.

The Franciscan Sisters' healing ministry was brought to Tampa in 1934 with the founding of St. Joseph's Hospital near downtown Tampa. The country was struggling in the depths of the Great Depression and operating these medical institutions was economically challenging. But from the Sisters' point of view there was no time of greater need.

St. Joseph's Hospital

St. Joseph's Hospital exterior photo from 1934The 40-bed hospital established near downtown Tampa in 1934 by the Sisters has grown today to 527 beds. Some of the most complex medical and surgical conditions are treated at the hospital today and through the years its dedicated centers of excellence have become noted for outstanding care. Countless lives have been touched and healed by St. Joseph's Hospital's staff who continue to carry on the Franciscan tradition of offering hope and compassion, ensuring each individual's medical, spiritual and emotional needs are met regardless of faith.

St. Joseph's Children's Hospital

From their origins as a teaching order, the Franciscan Sisters infused their compassionate understanding of children's needs when opening St. Joseph's Children's Hospital of Tampa in 1988. Today's 164-bed hospital is a holistic, child-focused facility noted for its technologically advanced medical care and family-centered environment. Its reputation for excellence includes newborn and pediatric intensive care units; children's cardiovascular and cancer centers; pediatric rehabilitation services; and a dedicated emergency center.

St. Joseph's Women's Hospital

The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany returned to their roots in service to women through St. Joseph's Women's Hospital in 1993. It provides the women of the Tampa Bay area with a centralized source of medical care for all their needs. The Sisters' philosophical presence can still be felt today at this 192-bed facility through its many educational programs as well as its gynecological, obstetrical, surgical, perinatal and oncological services. The initiation of the Women's Healthy Heart Center is another good example of the Franciscan tradition being brought to life.

For more information, please call the Chaplain’s Office at (813) 870-4258.