Thursday, October 26, 2006

Photos of Most Sacred Heart Church in Florissant, Missouri

Here are photos of Most Sacred Heart Church, in Florissant, Missouri, which is about 17 highway miles northwest of downtown Saint Louis.

The parish is located in the Old Town section of Florissant. This town was one of the earliest French settlements in Missouri, and built its first church in 1788.

These photos were taken in August with my old camera, which had various problems, including fuzzy optics and bad color.

View from the side.

An influx of immigrants from Germany in the 1840s, as well as increasing numbers of Irish and English-speaking settlers, eventually required the construction of a new church. Originally, this area was in the parish of old St. Ferdinand's.

According to the 2006 census, this parish has approximately 4,566 Catholics. It also has a surprisingly large number of organizations.

SS. Corids Jesu
1866 - 1883

The old school building. Above the door is "HERZ JESU SCHULE 1889". This was once a German language parish.

The rectory.

This is, I think, the convent. I saw a nun in full habit inside of the church.

View of the narthex. It appears that this church had a major interior renovation in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Infant Jesus devotion.

View of nave from the choir loft. Exposition was going on at the time of these photos.

High altar, with monstrance.

Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Detail of painting on columns.

Stained glass window, as seen from the choir loft.

Door into the sacristy. To the background on the right is the new school building.

Flowers in the church's garden. Photos taken on August 29th.

The sculpture is called "Clare's Angel", named after a beloved caretaker of the rectory.

The church sits on the top of a hill, and its steeples are visible from quite a distance.

Mass times:
Monday-Friday: 7 AM, 8 AM
Saturday: 7 AM, 5 PM (Sunday vigil)
Sunday: 7 AM, 9 AM, 10:30 AM, Noon

Saturday: 9 AM, 3:30 PM - Until all are heard

Eucharistic Adoration:
Monday-Friday: All Day (the parish also has a Nocturnal Adoration Society)

751 North Jefferson Street
Florissant, Missouri 63031


  1. Marcus: Does the sculpture even claim to have a religious purpose?

    How awful, especially since all else is so well done.

  2. Maybe it is supposed to be a guardian angel.

    It is a big and old parish, so you can't expect consistency in all things.

  3. I'm from Germany---it's remarkable how much the style of the buildings resembles the (neo-Gothic) style of North-Western Germany! Nice!

  4. Ah, Most Sacred Heart, the parish of my baptism and my parent's wedding. Some random notes/comments:

    -- The narthex was redone in the last 10 years. Bathrooms were added in what is the traditional narthex. After this was done, the new "narthex" was created between the back of the pews and the original narthex by adding a few doors and a small wall.

    -- The original high altar was redone around the time of Vatican II and some windows behind the old high altar were bricked over to create the altar that's present today. The communion rail was removed in the late 80's.

    -- You are correct in your picture of the convent, however, no nuns have lived there in at least 10 years. Just before I started grade school (I did not attend Sacred Heart), there were two nuns in full habits who had just moved out of the convent. So that's about 20 years ago now. I believe the inside of the convent is in a great state of disrepair and is not used for anything right now. At last check, there were no nuns "officially" part of the parish.

    -- The old school is now a kindergarten.

    -- The area with the robotic angel used to be a playground but got redone about 5-10 years ago. It's a nice little garden and such, minus the weird angel. Note, the angel is holding Most Sacred Heart church in its hands.

    -- Back in the day when Florissant was divided between German Catholics at Sacred Heart and French Catholics at the Old St. Ferdinand Church, the schools used to be let out at different times to prevent boys from fighting. For many years, Jesuits ran both Sacred Heart and St. Ferdinand, and would frequently walk over from St. Stanislaus Seminary. Also of interest, the old Corpus Christi Processions in Florissant used to start at one parish and end at the other. It must have been a spectacular thing to behold!!

    1. The remodelling of the altar was actually precipitated by an infestation of termites--in 1957/58. I can post a picture of the original altar if you'd like--and if there's a way to do in on this site.

  5. The angel in the garden holding the Most Sacred Heart Church was a scuplture that was made by the family member of the care taker of the rectory "Clare". The garden is Clare's Garden and the statue was donated after her death in memorence of her servitude to the parish.

    She is greatly missed, and I would appreciate it if you renamed your title of the picture as Clare's Angel as I believe it is noted on a placard.

    1. The convent is an embarrassing state of dilapidation on the inside and I believe it was intentional. Someone got the brilliant idea that all the wood baseboards, doors, door casemnts had to be removed for some kind of renovation hack job that was never completed. Instead of rejoicing in and appreciating the beautiful old building for what it was there was this half baked idea that it could be improved. I did not go upstairs but I am sure the same sorry state can also be found there

  6. How disappointing that the beautiful original altars have been replaced with such modern mediocrity. The founders of this lovely church would be horrified.

    1. The renovation was the result of termites--a recurring problem here in Florissant. The "updating" with marble and tile was more about avoiding wood than modernist design. The simplicity of the design was more about budget considerations as Sacred Heart was in the midst of a huge post war building boom and money was needed for additions to the school building.

  7. Referring to Clare's Angel: Clare was Clare Heidotten. Her nephew the artist was Melvin Meyer who became famous at least in St. Louis and had a studio near Chaminade High School. I believe he was a Brother of Mary. Please correct me if I have some of the details wrong. Julie Okenfuss 2019