Wednesday, January 03, 2007

'Cathedral of South St. Louis' Needs Steeple Repair

...And the Latin Mass Community in St Louis is thriving...

An effort to save the towering steeple of St. Francis de Sales Oratory is one indication of the spiritual revival occurring at the church known as the Cathedral of South St. Louis.

When the building at 2653 Ohio Ave. was a parish church about 80 to 100 people attended its Sunday Masses in English.
. . .
Then the parish closed on June 30, 2005, along with a number of other South Side Catholic parishes. And Archbishop Raymond L. Burke designated the church as a place for the traditional Latin Mass for the St. Louis area.

Now known as the St. Francis de Sales Oratory, the 99-year-old landmark along Gravois Avenue west of Jefferson Avenue attracts 600 to 800 people to its Sunday Masses. Around 1,200 to 1,400 came to all of its Christmas Masses recently.
. . .
The oratory has initiated a drive to raise several million dollars to repair the church, particularly the [300 foot tall] steeple.

The steeple itself will cost $1 million to fix, [Fr. Karl] Lenhardt said. Altogether, the cost will be much more, he said.

Fr. Lenhardt is a priest of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a society of priests that celebrates the traditional Latin Mass.

To help in the restoration or to make a contribution, send a check directly to St. Francis de Sales Oratory, 2653 Ohio Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63118.

For more information, please call (314) 771-3100 or go to

For the full story, click here.

As a side note, this church is extraordinarily beautiful - one senses immediately upon entering the church that one has left the outside world and entered into a house of God. One cannot help but know that this is a sacred place which fills one with reverence and awe.

A special HT to Marc P for the update on this wonderful and worthwhile project.

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