We Journey with You
Realizing that challenges and difficulties in one’s life and vocational journey may occur, we journey with you to identify and navigate areas of stress and anxiety, emotional and addiction concerns, spiritual struggles, relational conflicts, vocational transitions and disappointments, and health and medical needs.
Through our holistic, inter-disciplinary, evidence-based, and individualized programs, at Saint John Vianney Center we provide the accompaniment and tools to inspire, heal, renew and restore one’s physical, behavioral, and spiritual well-being to live a healthy lifestyle and an effective ministry.
Our approach begins from Christ’s healing presence and addresses the multi-dimensional nature of the healing process-the integration of spiritual, human, intellectual, and pastoral well being.
The Saint John Vianney Center also follows the example of our patron, Saint John Vianney, who exemplified-listening first. To listen is to walk and companion with another person in their journey. We listen to each person’s story, value each person’s personal and spiritual gifts, and honor and respect the dignity of each person to facilitate self-directed rediscovery of the Lord’s presence and understanding.
We understand with compassion and strive to be as the Lord is to each of us-companions along the journey. Just like on the road to Emmaus, “were not our hearts burning while he spoke to us on the way?” – Luke 24:32
Founded in 1946, Saint John Vianney Center (SJVC) is the longest-running, internationally renowned, and premier Catholic behavioral health and addiction treatment facility in North America for Clergy and Religious.
The Center provides professional programs and services, spiritual experiences, and 24/7 nursing supervision to assist Clergy and Religious in living a healthy lifestyle in mind, body, and spirit.
The Center’s beginnings include the 1946 purchase of the 175-acre McIlvaine Estate in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, at the request of Monsignor William Kavanaugh and Dennis Cardinal Dougherty of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The main residence was converted from a family home to a private hospital, and the program was placed under the patronage of Saint John Vianney, an especially humble and forgiving priest known as the “Curé d’Ars,” a famous confessor in France known for his devotion to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
In 1974, individual psychotherapy was initiated at the Center, followed by spirituality groups, music and art therapy, and specialized classes. Outpatient services also began providing assessments and therapy. Accreditation from The Joint Commission was awarded in 1989, and the facility maintains this accreditation and its state licensures today, with its most recent re-accreditation in 2022.
In the mid-1990s, the programs moved from a medical model to a residential milieu. In September of 2000, the Center instituted a four tier approach to treatment to allow residents to move between programs and receive a continuum of care. This was followed by the development of the Complex Extended Stay program aimed at assisting those with chronic behavioral health needs to function at their optimal level. Since 2009, the Consultation, Education, and Outreach Department has provided consultations, workshops, and convocations on a wide variety of topics promoting wellness and prevention for Clergy and Religious worldwide.
In 2012, SJVC expanded its programming again with the Co-Occurring Disorder (COD) unit, which addresses those broken by the burdens of addiction, and behavioral health issues, treating the mind, body, and spirit of each person. A thorough aftercare program now operates to support, monitor, and follow up with discharged patients.
In 2021, SJVC celebrated its 75th year of serving the Church. Now independently owned and operated, our mission continues to shepherd our brothers and sisters in Church ministry through life’s journey and difficulties, and to aid and restore their physical, behavioral, and spiritual well-being.
We continue to be responsive to the diverse and evolving needs of our brothers and sisters in ministry and provide the highest quality of care to Clergy, Consecrated Men and Women Religious, and Clergy of other major Christian denominations so they can serve the people of God in their best health.
The Saint John Vianney Center has been accredited by The Joint Commission as a behavioral health provider since 1989. The Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. The Saint John Vianney Center is proud to be affiliated with The Joint Commission and its mission to “continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality”. It is our honor to have earned, and continue to maintain, The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval®, after an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years.
To report a patient safety event or concern, please use this online form which goes directly to The Joint Commission.
The Saint John Vianney Center is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as an inpatient behavioral healthcare facility providing addictive disease and co-occurring treatment services.
The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs is a cabinet-level agency in the Government of Pennsylvania under Governor Tom Wolf. The objective of this department is to manage and distribute state and federal funds used to oversee alcohol and drug prevention, intervention and treatment services.
Saint John Vianney Center is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as a licensed private psychiatric hospital.