These photos were taken on the eve of the first Sunday in Advent.
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.
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.
The high altar. Click here for another view.
A closer view of the tabernacle.
Altar of Saint Francis, with relic.
Altar of Saint Joseph.
Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with stained glass window of the Annunciation.
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.
Stained glass window, which likely depicts the Transitus of Saint Francis. Francis blesses Assisi before his death.
Window of the Wedding feast at Cana.
Sixth Station of the Cross: Jesus meets Veronica.
Saints Aloysius Gonzaga, John Vianney, and Isidore the Farmer.
Pipe organ in the choir loft.
Click here for other photos of churches in Clinton County.
Sunday: 7:30am, 9:30am
251 South Clinton Street
Aviston, Illinois 62216