Sunday, March 22, 2009

Photos of Saint Mary's (Immaculate Conception) Church, in Brussels, Illinois

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Church in the village of Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois. It is about 39 miles by car and ferryboat northwest of downtown Saint Louis, Missouri.

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - exterior side

This church dates from 1863 and replaced one built in 1847.

The town of Brussels is named after the hometown in Belgium of the church's first parish priest. Click here for more photos of Brussels.

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - sanctuary

Saint Mary's is one church among three that comprise Blessed Trinity parish in the south part of Calhoun County.  According the diocesan directory, this combined parish has about 1097 parishioners in 433 families.

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - sanctuary 2

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - apse ceiling with gold mosaics and the Lamb of the Apocalypse

Brilliant gold mosaic is above the altar, along with the Lamb of God on the Book of Seven Seals from the Apocalypse.

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - old high altar and tabernacle

On the front of the old high altar is the Last Supper: along with Jesus, the apostles John, Peter, and the betrayer Judas are clearly identifiable.

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - statue of Saint Joseph and window with eagle and fish symbols

Statue of Saint Joseph.  Stained glass window has the Christological symbols of an eagle and fish.

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - stained glass window of the Holy Family

Stained glass window of the Holy Family.

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - stained glass window of the Nativity; stairs leading to the choir loft

Stained glass window of the Nativity and adoration of the shepherds.

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - Medallions with titles of Our Lady - Tower of David, Seat of Wisdom, Ark of the Covenant

On the molding around the ceiling are medallions of titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary as found in the Litany of Loreto. Shown here in composite are Tower of David (Canticle of Canticles 4:4); Seat of Wisdom; and Ark of the Covenant (compare 2 Samuel 6:9 and Luke 1:43).

Immaculate Conception (Saint Mary's) Roman Catholic Church, in Brussels, Calhoun County, Illinois, USA - Graves of pastors in the Catholic cemetery

Graves of parish pastors in the Catholic cemetery.

Address:
111 Main Street
Brussels, Illinois 62013


UPDATE: This church was destroyed by fire, on Christmas Eve of 2011. More details can be found here.

8 comments:

  1. Mark any thoughts about what the ropes are for on the cross in the cemetery picture? Also is the cemetery so large that it is on the hill behind or is that a different one?

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  2. From a Brussels resident:

    The ropes are actually wires which keep the cross from blowing over in a wind or storm, which has happened before. The cemetery does in fact extend to the hill behind. It is quite large for a small town.

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  3. It's so nice you have these pictures of a church that is sadly no more.

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  4. I was just there a while back for Mrs. Ralph Moses' service. So sorry to learn of the fire.

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  5. Such a terrible loss.

    This is the parish my Grandparents grew up in, they are still alive, and they have many stories.

    An interesting piece of news is that this was not the only "look" of St. Mary's.

    My Grandparents' wedding pictures indicate that there were different High and Side Altars; these were in place circa post WWII and were at some point replaced by what was recently lost.

    Tom

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  6. What a terrible tragedy to lose such a beautiful place as St. Marys. It was a landmark for so long in Brussels. I believe the fire started in the electrical system ( I could be wrong ). It sort of underscores the fact that many of these wonderful old places have outdated and potentially dangerous utilities and the cost to update and repair can be challenging. Thankfully the parishioners have nearby St. Joseph in Meppen and St. Patricks in Grafton.

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  7. There is another small Catholic church and it is in northern Calhoun county in the little community of Bellevue which is north of Hamburg. I believe it was called St. Agnes but I could be wrong. When i visited in the early 90s it was still open and it was a beautiful little church. It had a wonderfully ornate steeple and great windows. When I last saw it around 2012 the sign was removed and the doors were locked and it looked to be closed up. Maybe it could be consolidation or the lack of parishioners for the little community of Bellevue seems to be dissappearing. Sadly the ornate steeple had been covered in vinyl and its beauty hidden. Does anyone know the history or have some info. regarding this lttle church ?

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