St Joseph's Hospice in Pakistan

The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) lead this small, dedicated and close knit community which continues the inspiration of Father O'Leary, a Catholic priest and missionary. In 1962, Fr. O’Leary realized the need for a hospice when he attended a dying woman near the railway track. By 1964 he and FMM Sister Dolores, from Spain, had established our pioneering Rawalpindi home and registered it as a non-profit organization under the Pakistan Donor Welfare Agencies Ordinance.

The main building, built in 1964 on Church land, was fully funded by MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation. The separate convent building was originally a community hall for the Irish Fusilers who used the church. In the 1970s the nursery block was built to care for children abandoned to the Hospice. More recent construction has included converting an existing dorm room to house school age boys.


    St. Josephs provides free care, treatment, rehabilitation and security for our destitute residential patients. Handicapped by various forms of disabling paralysis, chronically ill, or suffering from senile dementia, they are often rejected by their families and refused by other hospitals. At St. Joseph’s they become a community and support and encourage each other. The children receive an education, and the able adults can be taught skills to earn extra money. In this supportive new life they discover hope.

    With its own doctors, laboratory, pharmacy, physical therapy, x-ray, and other treatment support facilities, St. Joseph’s is self-contained for most basic needs.


    Thanks to the talents, faith and ingenuity of our dedicated staff, highly capable Committee of Management and volunteers, we are able to fulfill our aim of providing free medical care to the destitute.

    Staff Fills Diverse Needs

    The overall day-to-day responsibility for St. Joseph’s Hospice is in the hands of the Franciscan Nuns of Mary with Sr. Margaret Walsh as Chief Administrator. Other Sisters have responsibility for physiotherapy, pharmacy, the out-patient department, and supervision of the support services staff.

    It takes good people with a range of talents and skills to care for our patients and their diverse needs and conditions. Our medical team includes two doctors, two staff nurses, 22 male and female nursing aides, two physiotherapists, and laboratory workers. The support services staff consists of 25 employees who handle the office, food service, laundry, grounds and maintenance, tutoring, and other necessary positions. The total staff positions required to support our efforts exceed 80.

    In-house Training

    In a country where trained medical help is almost non-existent it becomes critically essential to train new staff members or upgrade skills through in-house training, This training for our nurse aides and volunteer staff is a valuable part of the busy working week. St. Joseph’s has a special classroom dedicated to this training and volunteer trainers who offer staff training on a regular basis.

    Volunteers and Committee of Management

    Our wonderful, kind hearted volunteers serve in many capacities--working with patients on such projects as knitting and tutoring to training the nursing staff. Their generous gift of love and time provides strength and enriches the lives of the patients immeasurably.

    And finally, our volunteer Committee of Management provides administrative guidance, fundraising expertise, and variety of other functions. The Committee consists of nine members.