The neighborhood surrounding the Basilica is known as Lincoln Village. The Basilica anchors Lincoln Village on the east between Sixth and Seventh Streets on West Lincoln Avenue. The commercial corridors along West Lincoln Avenue, South 6th Street, and South 16th Street feature small businesses and a variety of ethnic delis and restaurants including Mexican, Polish, Serbian, and Salvadoran cuisine.
Lincoln Village is bound by Becher Street to the north and Harrison Avenue to the south. The east boundary is the I-94 expressway and 16th Street is the western boundary. The style of home is predominantly the “Polish flat”, owing to the Polish immigrants who settled this area in the late 19th century. Polish Americans thrived here with access to industry jobs, strong parishes, and extended families nearby.
The 1970s would bring an influx of Latinos, mainly Mexicans, to Lincoln Village. Latinos from the Caribbean and Central and South America arrived thereafter. In more recent years Lincoln village has become home to people from Southeast Asia, particularly Hmong, Burmese and Vietnamese refugees, and African Americans, Arabs, and Native Americans.
Through all these changes the Basilica of St. Josaphat has been keeping watch over the neighborhood. With the formation of the St. Josaphat Basilica Foundation, supporters from Lincoln Village, Greater Milwaukee, the US and beyond have been keeping watch over the Basilica.
It is important that the Basilica of St. Josaphat continues to serve Lincoln Village. When churches close, the strength and livelihood of the neighborhood often suffers. This church is much more than a place of worship; it attests to the faith and tenacity of the human spirit inspired by God. It showcases over 100 years of the history, art, and culture of the people of Milwaukee. Ultimately, the Basilica is a symbol of hope in the neighborhood; serving as a reminder that even through hardship, together, people can carry on.