The Latin Liturgy Association convention toured a number of local churches last Friday, including the old Holy Family log church, in Cahokia, Illinois, located about five highway miles south of downtown Saint Louis, Missouri. It is in the Diocese of Belleville.
This church was built in 1799, in the French colonial poteaux-sur-solle (post-on-sill) vertical-log construction method; it replaced a church built 100 years earlier and is similar in construction to numerous other surviving colonial buildings of the period. The vertical timbers lean inward, strengthening the structure.
The vertical timbers are walnut, the roof frame is oak, and the roof is cypress covered by sycamore. About 80% of the wood in this church is original.
Interior of the church, with LLA members hearing a talk on its history. This is one of the smallest Catholic churches in the region, with a capacity of just over 100 worshipers.
Jesuit missionaries arrived from Canada in 1698, and founded this parish in 1699. Actually, this area was Canada at one time, and directly across the Mississippi River was Louisiana.
LLA members listen to the history of the church.
The main altar and tabernacle.
The Indult Latin Mass is offered here at 9:00 a.m. Sundays, and also on Holy Days of Obligation.
Station of the Cross.
One of the transepts of this tiny church doubles as the confessional and a side-altar in honor of the Virgin Mary.
Here is also a series of pottery plaques on the patronage of Saint Joseph, above a statue of Saint Joan of Arc.
This chalice was used in 1698 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception by Father Jean Ste. Cosme at Holy Family's first Mass. Pope John Paul II also used it during the Youth Mass in Saint Louis in 1999.
The Missale Romanum is original to the church and was printed in 1668. The church also owns a monstrance from 1717.
These items are not kept in the church, but were brought here for the LLA tour.
A closer view of the missal, which contains the text of the Mass, along with special readings and prayers for the season and feastday. The paper quality and binding of this missal exceed our current standards of bookmaking.
A Latin and French Bible, also in excellent condition.
The other transept houses the sacristy.
Traditional vestments in the sacristy.
Infant Jesus of Prague, made in the Philippines.
A painting showing the history of the church.
A view of the back of the church. Behind this building you can see a part of the new Holy Family church, constructed in 1972. It replaced a Gothic structure built in 1889.
The wooden spire.
Detail above the front door.
Graves of some early priests of the parish.
History of the church.
116 Church Street