Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Photo of Saint Liborius Church (closed parish), in Saint Louis, Missouri

Saint Liborius Church (closed parish) in Saint Louis, Missouri - exteriorSAINT LIBORIUS CHURCH, a former German parish, was completed in 1889, and closed in 1991. This was at one time one of the largest and most beautiful churches in the Archdiocese, but its neighborhood is now extremely poor, with many empty lots and abandoned buildings. The outbuildings of the church are now used by a Catholic Worker community, which provides short-term housing for homeless women and children.

Its spire was originally much taller, with a stone lace-work top, inspired by the Freiburg Cathedral in Germany. The church is a registered landmark, but it is an empty shell, and some of its artwork is now in other churches.

But this neighborhood is having some revitalization, due to the current real estate boom. It is a hopeful sign that this church remains standing. We can still hope for a resurgence of the Faith here, and a restoration of this great church.


  1. Was this not, at least at one point recently, being used to store the religious artwork and furniture from other parishes? What a beautiful exterior. I would love to see the inside.

  2. I have no idea. Someone told me there is a warehouse somewhere for storing unused church furnishings. I searched the Archdiocesan website, but it didn't offer any clues.

  3. It was a pleasure and a surprise for me to see that the Liborius-devotion had come also to the States. I knew his life as bishop of Le Mans (France) and the great devotion in Paderborn (Germany) after the transfert of his reliques from le Mans to Paderborn (836)

    1. I graduated from St. Liborius in 1957, and always wondered who he was.

  4. The church was built by immigrants from Paderborn; the first pastor was Stephen Schweihoff, also from Paderborn.

  5. This one is a tragic tale. I can't remember all the details, as its recounting (on numerous occasions) was quite a while ago. Petitions went around, the required amount of signatures gained, monies pledged, yet Archbishop May abandoned it. Traditionalists felt it was a mean-spirited attack by a liberal bishop. The interior was stripped and sold off, mostly to non-Catholics for consumption. Something like that.

  6. Obviously you cannot get inside, and even if you could, the inside sounds like it has been gutted. Do you know of anyone who has pictures of what the high altar/interior looked like? I've heard such great things, I'd love to see the inside.

    Also, according to the Archdiocese archives, it now lists the church as having been sold in 2009 to Hogan Street Partners, LLC.

  7. Is it true that this church cannot be torn down? It is a special blessed or consecrated building? If that is true it should be revitalized. A good place to have the TLM.

  8. This here link is to a pdf which has pictures of the inside. Even in 1978 it still was beautiful.


  9. We are hosting a gathering to discuss St. Liborious Church.

    We are asking our friends, neighbors and the larger community - Are there people or groups with the interest and ability to maintain and use the Church building?

    Sunday, May 6th, 2012

    Open house in Church: 4:30-5:30pm (come to 18th Street side - the back of the church)

    Gathering to discuss Church: 5:30-7pm (Karen House dining room - 1840 Hogan)

    We will have information sheets about the building at the gathering.
    Please, no kids - the building is in disrepair.

    Let us know if you have any questions: karenhousecw@gmail.com


    1. Dear Jenny, I would be very interested in more information.

      Thank you,
      John Valenti
      636-397-1440 Ext. 227

  10. I just found this site and message board. I graduated from St. Liborius in 1957, and it was indeed something beautiful then. Not long ago I drove by on a very cold and windy day, and saw the wind blowing into it, and one of the front steps broken. It was a _very_ depressing experience, as if the whole neighborhood had died. I certainly would have come to the meeting if I had known about it, though I don't know of anything I could do to preserve it.

    Anyone remember Fr. Ripper?