Father T. Anwander, C.SS.R., with a group of laymen, organized the mother church of West Jefferson in 1857. Previously Redemptorists crossing the Mississippi from the city of Lafayette had served the German, Irish, French and American-born Catholics of Mechanicks' Village or Mechanikham, planned by surveyor Benjamin Buisson with a square ground for a church. Father (Later Canon) J.B. Bogaerts served as pastor, 1863-1871, and organized the St. Joseph Benevolent Association. MSGR. P.M.H. Wynhoven opened during his tenure, 1917-1935, several of the 13 Parishes formed up to now from the original St. Joseph Parish.