When the Faubourgs of uptown New Orleans were subdivided in 1838, Bishop Antoine Blanc accepted a donation from the estate of Mrs. Theresa Perie Saulet, of a square in Faubourg Saulet "for charitable purposes." It was her wish that a church bear the name of St. Theresa of Avila. In 1839, Bishop Blanc aided The Sisters of Charity in building on this square their female orphan asylum with its chapel called St. Theresa. Neighborhood growth soon demanded another Catholic Parish for the Second Municipal District. In 1848 the present church replaced the original original wooden chapel and, in 1850, Father J.P. Bellier became first resident pastor.