Thursday, August 25, 2005

Photo of Saint Francis Xavier Church at Saint Louis University

Here is Saint Francis Xavier Church, at Saint Louis University, located on the southwest corner of Grand and Lindell Boulevards in midtown Saint Louis City. It can be said of this magnificent church that "they don't build 'em like that anymore." Construction of the church started in 1883 and it is modeled after the neo-Gothic, 19th century Cathedral of Saint Colman in Cobh, County Cork, Ireland. The interior has been redesigned according to the suggestions of the controversial statement from the USCCB Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy of 1978, "Environment and Art in Catholic Worship", with a large baptismal pool at the entry to the nave, and a large raised platform with an altar table at the transept; the high altar has been retained, and the former sanctuary is now the location of the musicians and choir. The church is beautifully lit at night, and is the most prominent landmark of the University campus, whch has recently had a vast landscaping renovation, which includes distinctive fencing, some of which is visible at the bottom of the photo.

In the left of the photo you can see DuBourg Hall, designed by Thomas Walsh, who also was the first architect of the church. To the right you can see two Masonic Temples, whose cold rationality and occult symbolism contrast greatly with the warm humanism and simple faith of the Church across Lindell Boulevard.

This church is commonly known in Saint Louis as "College Church", has parish status, and is staffed by members of the Society of Jesus, and is known for its well-attended 10:00 p.m. Sunday Masses that are offered during the school year.

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