Thursday, December 22, 2005

Photos of Saint Vincent de Paul Chapel

The Cardinal Rigali Center is the home of many offices of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, and is a former seminary. Inside is the beautiful Saint Vincent de Paul Chapel, done in the Gothic style. I was kindly given permission to photograph in here. I was not the only one here with this mission: some visiting Sisters, after they prayed the Divine Office in this chapel, were also taking numerous pictures.

The chapel from the entrance. The pews are in antiphonal form; long rows on opposite sides of the aisle face each other. This design derives from the ancient practice of monks chanting alternate verses of the Psalms of the Divine Office: one side chants a verse, the other side chants the next, and so forth. Some Modern churches have used this design as an alternative to seating-in-the-round.

Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Surrounding the entire chapel are panels of richly carved wood, with quotes from Scripture in gold Gothic lettering.

A side altar in the chapel.

This building was once a seminary; there are a dozen side altars in this chapel. The Church now allows concelebration and no longer requires priests to say Mass daily, so the practice of building side-altars has nearly disappeared. That is a shame; for the intimacy of a side-altar Mass, especially a weekday Mass with few communicants, is hard to match.

The High Altar.

View down the aisle.

The crucifix. It is high up in the middle of the chapel.

Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Coats of arms of notable churchmen are displayed on the walls of the chapel.

Each arch from the ceiling abuts to a carving of an angel.


  1. Great photos! A friend just sent me the link to your blog - I am a young parishoner at Cathedral Basilica. I really enjoy your posts.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Thank you for the beautiful photos. Why no exterior shots?

    1. That was because it was overcast that day, and my exterior photos didn’t turn out well.