Over the centuries Judeo-Christian churches have been at the heart of villages and cities as they were born and flourished. These churches served as community centers, places where the sick and needy could go for help, as well as sources for moral and religious guidance. Their continued survival would not have been possible without the support of their local neighborhoods and their congregations. This website’s mission is to highlight the founding of each historic church and the challenges they faced, along with their religious and charitable contributions they provide to their neighborhoods and the world.
Shrine of St. Joseph
The present location of the Shrine of St. Joseph was donated to the Jesuits by Mrs. Ann Biddle for the specific purpose of building a church. The church was designed by George Purvis, had a 150 foot spire and was completed in 1846.
Father Francis Renaud, purchased land on the hilltop of 11th St. and Lafayette St. from Frenchman Antoine Soulard with the goal of building the Bohemian parish, which lead to the founding of St. John Nepomuk Parish and the Bohemian Hill neighborhood in 1854.
Martin Stephan, the pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Dresden, Germany, organized what was known as the Saxon Lutheran Immigration of 1838-39. This consisted of Lutherans with dreams of practicing their faith how they wished in America.