This church, staffed by members of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor (Ordo Fratrum Minorum), was completed in 1910.
The friary next to the church is home to the Sacred Heart Province (Saint Louis-Chicago) of the O.F.M., which as of the year 2006 had 264 members. The religious order will be celebrating its 800th anniversary in 2009.
The previous photo dates from April of last year. The following photos were taken on the First Sunday of Lent this year. Click here for more photos of the church.
This large church is home to approximately 630 Catholics, however, it seems to be far more active than otherwise expected.
If this church looks familiar, it is because the design of the recently featured Saint Cecilia's was inspired by this.
The remarkable Franciscan Brother-architect, Adrian Wewer, designed the church. From the provincial website:
Throughout his fifty years of service as architect, which closely coincides with the first fifty years of German Franciscan missionary work in America, Bro. Adrian drew up architectural plans and superintended construction projects for Franciscans and for other members of the regular and secular clergy. His plans and advice were sought in Roman Catholic circles nationwide. Between 1864 and 1914, ecclesiastical buildings credited to Bro. Adrian were erected across the country-from New York and New Jersey in the East to Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona in the West and Southwest; from Wisconsin and Minnesota in the North to (reputedly) Tennessee and Louisiana in the South. Bro. Adrian planned parish and monastic churches, college buildings, seminaries, schools, friaries, convents, and hospitals; the Chronica of Santa Barbara Mission estimates that he designed over one hundred church buildings. Numerous structures planned by the modest Franciscan Brother-architect survive and still serve monastic communities, the diocesan priesthood, and Catholic parishioners throughout the United States.As a humble Franciscan, Brother Adrian is almost unknown in the history of architecture, but perhaps he ought to rank with the greatest of American architects.
Bro. Adrian's monastic home was St. Anthony of Padua in St. Louis, Missouri; before the turn of the century, this friary was his usual point of departure for travel to his many construction and consultation assignments. At a time when long distance overland travel was still arduous, it is understandable that Bro. Adrian's early building activities were concentrated in Midwestern cities and towns near major waterways where German Catholic settlement was most pronounced. Apparently using the ever expanding American railway system, Bro. Adrian and his designs for churches, friaries, convents, and schools soon reached regions far distant from the American Heartland.
The designs of Bro. Adrian were thoroughly imbued with elements of Neo-Romanesque or Neo-Gothic style--those styles typical for contemporary ecclesiastical structures in Bro. Adrian's German homeland. He used three basic groundplan types for the churches he designed -- the three-aisled basilica, the three-aisled hall church, and the wide hall church with no side aisles. To each of these three groundplan types, furthermore, Bro. Adrian sometimes added a transept. With or without a transept, all of his churches--apart from the few in Spanish-Mission style--have a flavor typical for Medieval Germany. Such Medievalism in architectural design--common in nineteenth-century Germany---was transmitted by the humble and venerable Brother from Harsewinkel to many German-American and to some Polish-American Catholic parishes within and even beyond the vast territory of the Franciscan Sacred Heart Province in America.
Painting above the sanctuary.
The pulpit and a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182 - 1226), street-fighter, soldier, and eventually a great saint. Click here for some of his writings, translated into English.
The crucifix and tabernacle.
The Franciscans who fled the anti-Catholic Liberal reforms in Germany brought their great artistic patrimony with them.
From the provincial website:
Little did the Prussian Prince, Otto von Bismarck (the Iron Chancellor), know how great a benefactor of the Sacred Heart Franciscan Province and Quincy University he would be. When the Kulturkampf exiled a large number of Franciscans to the infant American province (at least 89 friars in the year 1875 alone), they brought along their talents, technology and tools (not to mention their rare books and art)....
The church is named after Saint Anthony of Padua (1195 - 1231), Franciscan, gifted orator, and Doctor of the Church. His sermons translated into English no longer seem to be available online.
Stations of the Cross.
Two of the stained glass windows; the one to the left is very large and is in one of the transepts.
A view down the left aisle. At the time of this photo, new tertiaries were being enrolled in the Third Order of Saint Francis.
Pipe organ and choir loft.
The Man of Sorrows.
Update: historical photos of the church 1, 2, 3, 4.
3112 Meramec Street
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118