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.