St. John's 'Gildehaus', as it is know in the area, was founded in 1839 as a mission called St. John the Baptist by the Jesuit Fathers. It is called St. John's 'Gildehaus' to honor John Dietrich Gildehaus and his wife Anna Clara, who in 1848 donated by deed the original property consisting of about 10 acres. In 1865, Dietrich bequeathed the remaining 23 1/2 acres of the so-called church farm to be passed to St. John's Church upon the death of his wife, Clara. The property in total encompasses about 33 1/4 acres. In February 1939, ownership of the property was passed from St. Louis University (the holding corporation of the Jesuit Missions) to the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Archbishop John Joseph Glennon...
The parish is located in a rural, unincorporated area of Franklin County, Missouri. The parish boundaries are in the townships of Union, St. John's and Boles.
The present brick church was built in 1863. The rectory about 1875. Both church and rectory are still of sound construction.
According to the 2007 Status Animarum, or ecclesiastical census, this parish has about 2,695 Catholics. Five Sunday Masses are held.
Judging from historical photos, the sanctuary has been redecorated several times.
Small statue of Saint Jude, in biblical dress and with the flame of Pentecost upon his head. He is patron of lost causes. Saint Jude, pray for us.
To the right of the altar is a list of Bishops of the Archdiocese and pastors of the parish; to the left, not shown, are a list of Popes and a continuation of the list of pastors.
Saint Joseph and the Christ Child. Above the statue is an episcopal coat of arms, with the motto Miles Christi Sum, I am a solider of Christ. To the left of the statue is a banner, reflecting the considerable affection many have for this parish.
The Xth Station of the Cross: Consider how Jesus was violently stripped of His clothes by His executioners. The inner garments adhered to his lacerated flesh and the soldiers tore them off so roughly that the skin came with them. Have pity for your Savior so cruelly treated....
Two stained glass windows. One has roses, which are beautiful, fragrant, and with thorns, and
are a symbol of the Virgin Mary and her suffering. Below are carpenter tools symbolic of Saint Joseph. The other window has a phoenix, symbol of resurrection, and a serpent in a cup, symbol of Saint John the Apostle.
Pfc. EDISON R. WARNEBOLD
382nd INF. 95th DIV. U.S.A.
KILLED IN ACTION
OKINAWA, PACIFIC ISLAND
APRIL 21, 1945
Greater love than this no one has,
that one lay down his life for his friends.
John XV - 13
Pipe organ and choir loft.
Mother of Sorrows 1873. One of several small shrines on the parish grounds.
The parish cemetery.
A view of surrounding country as seen from the church.
This parish is well known for its Sausage Festival, held on the fourth Sunday in October.
Address:5567 Gildehaus Road
Villa Ridge, Missouri 63089