HERE ARE PHOTOS of Our Lady Help of Christians Church, located in the unincorporated community of Weingarten, in rural Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri. The church is located approximately 62 highway miles south of downtown Saint Louis.
These photos were taken August 9th, 2009. Many thanks to Father who unlocked the church for me.
This parish dates from 1872. The statue of the Virgin in the niche above the door was installed in 1903. The stonework of this little church is made up of a mixture of local stone, which appear nicely cut.
The invocation to Our Lady, Auxilium Christianorum, is found in the Litany of Loreto, and is related to the victory of the Christian fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. Pope Pius VII was imprisoned by the Emperor Napoleon: after his release, he instituted the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, in thanksgiving to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary .
Most Reverend Robert Joseph Hermann, Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Louis, is from Weingarten, and attended this church.
Weingarten was the location of a large prisoner of war camp during the Second World War, with about 5000 Italian soldiers being held here. During the camp's existence, two prisoners escaped but were quickly recaptured, and five died in captivity. The prisoners were hired out to local farmers for 80 cents a day wage. Little evidence of the camp remains today: see this article for more information.
According to the Archdiocese's 2009 Status Animarum, this parish has approximately 455 Catholics. According to the United States Census of the year 2000, the most common ancestries in the township around Weingarten are German, French, and Irish.
Weingarten is from the German, and means ‘wine garden’. Vineyards and wineries are found nearby, and this region is known for its great beauty.
The sanctuary is nicely furnished.
Statues and an icon of Our Lady.
Behind the sedilia for the presiding clergy are a statue of the Resurrected Christ, Saint Joseph with the Christ Child, and the baptismal font depicting the baptism of Christ by John.
The stained glass windows here are non-representational but are quite lovely. This window donated by the Henry Karl family.
The XIIIth Station: Jesus is taken from the Cross. Donated by Simon Schwent and Family.
Outdoor shrine to Our Lady.
The church's cemetery.
13370 Highway 32
Sainte Genevieve, Missouri 63670