Monday, December 21, 2009

Photos of Saint Francis of Assisi Church, in Aviston, Illinois

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Francis of Assisi Church, in the village of Aviston, Illinois.  The church is located approximately 36 road miles east of downtown Saint Louis, in Clinton County.

These photos were taken on the eve of the first Sunday in Advent.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - exterior

The late-afternoon sun illumines the church and rectory.

According to the history on the parish website:
The first Catholic settlers in the territory of the present St. Francis Congregation of Aviston were emigrants from Northern Germany, Hanover, Westphalia, and Oldenburg. Among them were Bernard Huelsmann (1839), Diederich Overbeck (1841), Herman Henry Markus, Gerhard Feldmann (1848), Bernard Wempe, Henry Stroot, Henry Merscher, Herman Robbe, Carle Stuever (1849). They engaged in farming and by hard and persevering labor and by the practice of rigid economy converted the wild and weedy prairies of the region into rich and fertile farms.
Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - exterior statue of Saint Francis

Statue of Saint Francis of Assisi over the front door.

Continuing the history:
In the early 60’s the number of Catholic families had increased to such an extent that a movement for the erection of a church and the organization of a new parish was general...


Encouraged by their Bishop, the doughty pioneers, without the assistance of a priest, began to build their church in the Spring of 1864. A brick structure 80 by 50 feet was erected by Gerhard Rolfmeyer and Henry Dillmann, local contractors at a cost of $11,741.25. Owing to many difficulties caused by outside interference, lack of pastoral leadership, and shortage of labor, due to the war, the building was not completed until September, 1865...


The greatest undertaking of Father Lohmann at Aviston was the erection of the new church. As early as 1883, plans and specifications had been drawn by Henry Melcher, architect, of St. Louis, with the approval of the Bishop. According to these plans part of the old church was left standing and remodeled for the sanctuary and sacristies of the new church. To this was added to the west a transept 78 ft. wide, the nave, and a tower 185 ft. high, making the total length of the church 142 ft. Ground was broken on the site of the new church September 19, 1885, and the excavation of the basement, as well as the laying of the foundation, was completed before the end of the year. May 12, 1886, the general contract for the construction work was awarded to Henry Stoff and August Klutho, of Aviston...


St. Francis Church was solemnly consecrated by Bishop Janssen October 26, 1892.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - sanctuary

The high altar.  Click here for another view.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - tabernacle and high altar

A closer view of the tabernacle.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - altar of Saint Francis with relic

Altar of Saint Francis, with relic.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - altar of Saint Joseph

Altar of Saint Joseph.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - altar of Mary

Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with stained glass window of the Annunciation.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - altar of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Altar of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is below a painting of Our Lord with the two disciples at Emmaus, who recognized Him at the breaking of the bread.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - Franciscan stained glass window

Stained glass window, which likely depicts the Transitus of Saint Francis. Francis blesses Assisi before his death.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - stained glass window of the Wedding Feast at Cana

Window of the Wedding feast at Cana.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - 6th Station of the Cross

Sixth Station of the Cross: Jesus meets Veronica.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - painting of Saints

Saints Aloysius Gonzaga, John Vianney, and Isidore the Farmer.

Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Aviston, Illinois, USA - pipe organ

Pipe organ in the choir loft.

Click here for other photos of churches in Clinton County.

Mass times:
Sunday: 7:30am, 9:30am
Tuesday-Friday: 7:30am
Saturday: 7:30pm

Address:
251 South Clinton Street
Aviston, Illinois 62216

4 comments:

  1. Perhaps you have said before but do you know the name of the style of architecture used in this high altar? When I was very young I attended St Columbans in Chillicothe Missouri and it has a similar looking altar. That city too was originally settled by Germans.

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  2. The High Altar is in a Gothic style, but there are many regional and historical differences, of which I know nothing!

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  3. These look like altars made by the E Hackner Altar Company of LaCrosse, WI. You can learn more about the company and its works by doing a search under Hackner Altar Co of LaCrosse, WI.

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  4. The story of the altars is they were made in Europe, shipped to the midwest for use in another church in the region but (for whatever reason) were rejected before being purchased by the parish.

    St. Francis completed an interior renovation of the church in the Spring of 2013.

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