Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Photos of Saint Cecilia Church, in Bartelso, Illinois

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Cecilia Church, in Bartelso, Illinois. The church is located about 47 highway miles east of downtown Saint Louis, Missouri, in Clinton County, and is a part of the Diocese of Belleville.

Saint Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, in Bartelso, Illinois, USA - exterior 2

The church has a very tall spire for its size.

According to a history of Saint Cecilia Church and town of Bartelso, dating from 1913:
Bartelso is a pretty little village situated in Santa Fe Township, and occupying the original site of Santa Fe. Its immediate neighborhood was settled by the whites prior to 1816. Up to 1876 it was a part of Carlyle and Germantown, but at the aforesaid date it was made a separate precinct...

The church was erected 1884 by the present Vicar General Rt. Rev. Msgr. William CLUSE, at that time rector of St. Boniface’s church, Germantown, Ill. It is a brick building of 500 seating capacity and the cost of its erection was approximately $25,000.00. Rev. Joseph SPAETH was appointed first pastor of the new congregation and on January 19, 1885, the first mass was said in the new church... Father BARTELS donated the site where the present church and other buildings were built and also donated the cemetery where he found his resting place. The village of Bartelso is named after him. The original name of the congregation was Santa Fe [Spanish: Holy Faith].
The church will be celebrating its quasquicentennial in June, 2009.

Saint Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, in Bartelso, Illinois, USA - nave

This was originally a German-language parish.

A Saint Cecilia church pastor, Fr. Bernard Kunkel, here founded the Purity Crusade of Mary Immaculate on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, 1944, and continued it until his death in May, 1969.
Virtuous young ladies should understand that dressing modestly does not mean that they cannot appear attractive. However, the attractiveness of their attire should be a modest reflection of the beauty deep within their soul rather than an improper exposure of sensual beauty that has an attraction that is only skin deep.
Three years before his death, Fr. Kunkel realized that the earthly battle for purity was lost; subsequently, immodesty became the cultural norm, continuing to our present day.
I have a feeling when I fade out of the picture that will be the end of the Crusade. I cannot find anyone to help who will carry out my principles, as I would like them carried out... Of course we cannot worry too much about these material things; I will do what I can while I am able and after that, if it should continue, it will be in Our Blessed Mother's hands.

Saint Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, in Bartelso, Illinois, USA - sanctuary

Sanctuary decorated for Advent.

Saint Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, in Bartelso, Illinois, USA - high altar

Tabernacle, located in the elaborate old high altar.

Saint Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, in Bartelso, Illinois, USA - altar of Saint Joseph

Altar of Saint Joseph.

Saint Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, in Bartelso, Illinois, USA - baptismal font

The baptismal font.

Saint Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, in Bartelso, Illinois, USA - 11th Station of the Cross, Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

11th Station of the Cross:  Jesus is nailed to the cross.

Saint Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, in Bartelso, Illinois, USA - stained glass window of the Apostles James the Greater and Andrew

Stained glass window, showing Apostles Saint James the Greater and Saint Andrew.


  1. Mark,

    These photos and these churches are stunning. You are doing tremendous work and these must be published in book form.

    I am sorry I don't keep up with your blog more frequently! You are doing a great job.

    Kevin O'Brien

  2. Mark what is the name for the style of architecture used in these alters? When I was very young I attended St.Columbans in Chillicothe Missouri and it has similar alters and exterior design minus the spire. St. Columbans had a strong German history also.

  3. Mark, I want to share a thought that I just got from an Anglican friend. She was raised in England and has lived in Australia and has settled here in Indiana (??) We were discussing the Oxford Dictionary post. To her dismay I told her about the words that had been removed. This discussion turned to the alarming fact that England is rapidly becoming a muslim country as is much of Europe. Her idea was this, we as a nation should be very open armed and welcoming to any hispanic wanting to come to this country. They are Christian and are not open to conversion to islam, she considers it a defensive move! What do you think???

  4. Kevin,

    Thanks! Perhaps they will be published in book form, maybe even next summer!


    Those are Gothic in style, although I don't know if they reflect a regional style.

    Regarding England, that country's negative attitude towards having children seems to be the problem.

  5. Over the past few weeks, St. Cecilia's has been repainted, and I have to say that it looks very, very nice. New accents (gold, marble, and some painted design work) really refreshed the interior of the church.

    Another set of photos I might suggest if you make your way back this direction are the statue of St. Cecilia and the beautiful Wicks pipe organ. I can recall that statue when it was looking old and worn, and it looks very sharp after its refinishing.

    I grew up in this parish, and still attend mass there occasionally with my parents.