Friday, June 23, 2006

Photos of Saint Monica Church, in Creve Coeur, Missouri

Here is Saint Monica Church in Creve Coeur, Missouri, located about 17 miles west of downtown Saint Louis.

This is one of five Catholic churches in the suburban town of Creve Coeur, with this parish being founded in 1872. While the church building is fairly recent, an old cemetery is behind it.

It is located on Olive Boulevard, formerly known as Olive Street Road (as an extension of Olive Street in downtown Saint Louis), and Central Plank Road, since it was covered in wood planks. It was originally an Indian trail that directly connected the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.


Confessions 3, 11, 19-20

This is a statue of Saint Monica (born in 333 at Tagaste, North Africa; died in 387 at Ostia, near Rome), mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo, Doctor and Father of the Church. She is shown here in the orans prayer position (which is one of the most ancient symbols of the Church), interceding for her wayward, lazy, and faithless son. Her prayers were answered. She is the patroness of mothers with disappointing children.

Creve Coeur is French for "broken heart", and the town shares its name with nearby Creve Coeur Lake, the largest natural lake in the state. Local legend states that the name comes from a lovelorn, broken-hearted Indian girl, stricken with grief over her unrequited love for a French furtrapper, who jumped to her death at Dripping Springs, a waterfall on a cliff next to Creve Coeur Lake. Alternatively, the name may come from Fort Crèvecoeur, about one hundred miles north of here on the Illinois River, the first European structure in what was once known as Lower Canada. According to Flemish priest Louis Hennepin, "Our Fort was also very near finish'd; and we nam'd it the Fort of Crevecoeur, because the desertion of our Men, and the other Difficulties we labour'd under, had almost broke our Hearts."


12136 Olive Boulevard
Creve Coeur, Missouri 63141


  1. Great photos, Marcus. Thanks. I know right where this church is, I think, off I-270?

  2. It is right off of I-270. The interchange there with Olive Boulevard was completely redesigned recently and is highly elaborate, almost worth a photo essay in itself.

  3. Having been directed to your site by my young friend Andrew Cusack (whose blog is well worth your attention) I had some slight hope that you might touch upon St Monica's Parish. As you will know a nearby street bears my name, and recalls the presence of my ancestors in the area from the 1840s till the mid- 1870s. We lived at Lake House, and Mass was said there before the foundation of St Monica's, on land which we donated. The original church survived into the mid-twentieth century: a pity that it was not spared.

  4. Fr. Emerson,

    I am well acquainted with Emerson Road, and it is now the home to large office buildings and a Mercedes-Benz dealer.

    I will ask my sister-in-law, who is an avid genealogist of the Saint Louis area, if she can point me to information on your ancestors.

    Near the church is the Lake School House, a former one-room schoolhouse dating from 1897. Could this be the building where Mass was held?


  5. Dear Mr. Mark Scott Abeln,
    There was another church in Creve Coeur that closed and was torn down? My Mom, last name of 'Unterreiner' lived in Creve Coeur as a child, and called the church 'St. Patrick's'. I have never heard of this church, and they're getting old now, so I wasn't sure, really, about this 'St. Patricks's'. I got e-mail from a cousin recently, who's mother died (my great-aunt) in June, who told me to join the Geneological Society in St. Louis. Is this organization worthwhile? You state your sister-in-law "is an avid geneologist". I got your e-mail that I met your brother at the YMCA, not you. Also, I read your list of Disclaimers. So, I believed for a minute or so that you would not lie to a Priest, especially online. My Grandfather Unterreiner, dead since 10/13/78, had a patent, also. So, I need money. Do you know what I'm talking about?
    Theresa Marie Bextermiller, R.A., M.F.A., married name Metzger