Friday, November 27, 2009

Photo of the Christian Brothers Retreat House, in Glencoe, Missouri

La Salle Institute, retreat center of the Christian Brothers, in Glencoe, Missouri, USA

A photo of the La Salle Retreat Center, located in Glencoe, Saint Louis County, Missouri. From the center's website:
La Salle has been the home of the Christian Brothers since 1886. Until 1977, it served as the provincial Motherhouse with the house of formation and studies for young men discerning to become Christian Brothers. It also housed the Brothers on staff & faculty and a retired community of Brothers as well as the provincial offices. Since then, smaller communities of Christian Brothers have lived at La Salle and several Brothers now serve in the ministry of retreat work here.

The De La Salle Christian Brothers are a group of lay religious men devoted to education. They trace their beginnings to John Baptist De La Salle, a French priest, who established their society in 1680....

The retreat house has a beautiful hilltop site in the Ozarks, and is close to Rockwoods Reservation, a tiny steam railroad open to tourists, the Al Foster Trail, and a Marianist retreat house. The La Salle center is located near the Meramec River:  click here for some of my photos taken nearby.  Click here for a painting of this area, done in the Hudson River School style.  Click here for a history of Glencoe.

An old vocational postcard from the Christian Brothers describes its Ozark setting in flowery fashion:
What sight is so rare as Glencoe in spring! Then the gay landscape is arrayed in virgin green, and from uplands to bottom lands flowers heavy with sunshine climb and descend, as bright a vision as Jacob's ladder of angels. And what charm to eye, ear, and nostril are wasted on earth and air! A wealth of promised glory blossoms forth in the orchard, swollen brooks rush and grumble, gorgeous spectacles of rosestrewn morning on dewy hilltops and of changeful evening glory bathing western heights put the mind into a golden doze. With blankest unconcern one stands a gaze, drinking in the beauteous display of one of the most charming scenes on God's earth. The mellow glory of fall's yellow afternoons, when the air is crisp and a golden haze hangs over hill and glen, also makes the heart leap up and life merry as the music of the sapless leaves. "October's holocaust" in Glencoe, "Burned gold and crimson over all the hills, the sacremental mystery of the woods," cannot be surpassed for regal richness anywhere else on this beautiful globe. Glencoe is a highland village, imposing in its share of tilled and wooded hills and valleys, decked with flowers and waiving harvests. It is a village of hills within hills. To one standing in the lowlands, the whole has the appearance of an immense amphitheatre, Again, so many eminences are here huddled together that one is curiously reminded from higher points of observation of a herd of mammoths. the scene is one of wild irregularity . Vain is the search of uniformity and likeness. No hill has a fellow in outline, slope or crest. It is the same with the narrow strips of valleys: There is no feature of family resemblance. All about is a mad riot of rugged grandeur and picturesque pell-mell, a happy disorder of craggy summits and rounded tops, of grassy knolls and rocky descents, of park like plateaus and jagged ledges. Here climbing the heights is the unconquerable oak, there beneath is the chill cave of mystery; here under a shelf of protecting rock is the den of wild beast, across the way, the impetuous creek hews a circuitous path over stony channels, Everywhere nature is gay with wildest grandeur. Glencoe is a miracle of repose. Brooks whisper in the voice of dreams and the moist scent of flowers and grass and leaves is wafted in a fragrant chorus. Such is the solemn stillness in this sanctuary of silence, and as the eyes feast on the tranquil landscape or gaze on the far-off horizon one is moved to speak, to commune with the Creator of all things. No one returns from a visit to Glencoe without being impressed that this is the place to take sanctuary from a world of spiritual assassins. It is choice out of ten-thousand for a Novitiate, Fitter spot the most fastidious fancy could not picture for the formation of those who would run in the ways of God and escape the small economies and blighting scandals of a grinding world, where strength is taxed to little purpose and where even rare spirits often lower to the level of their labours. How different it is at Glencoe. There the environment has the virtue to lift "a man to match his mountain, not to creep dwarfed and abased below it".

Click here for another postcard.

Click here for a map of the area.


  1. Was there a fire that devastated the middle section of this building? I know that there used to be more red brick portions in between the brick wings still shown. I haven't been able to find anything about it.


  2. The upper floors of the center section were removed because the cost of meeting modern standards was prohibitive.