This photo of the exterior is from February; the vegetation is so dense during the warm season that the church is hardly visible from the street. The following photos were taken on May 12th 2010.
According to a parish history found in the church:
Before the turn of the 20th century, families had begun to settle beyond the limits of St. Louis City. Around 1890, the Maplewood Realty Company purchased several hundred acres of land from the heirs of James C. Sutton. this new housing development was named Maplewood and attracted 75 families.The colors in this photo may look strange, likely due the mixed use of incandescent and fluorescent lighting, which gives respectively a magenta and green hue. This is almost unnoticeable in real life, but does confuse my camera.
Responding to the needs of these people, on February 8, 1904, Archbishop Glennon authorized Rev. Daniel Clarke to organize a parish. Mass was first celebrated in March 1904, in a transformed abandoned feed store at Bellevue and Manchester. Later, property was purchased on Anna Ave. and work began almost immediately on a two-story brick building to serve as both a church and school for the 324 families of the parish.
On November 26, 1905, Archbishop Glennon dedicated this building to Our Lady, under the title of the Immaculate Conception. In 1906, the parish school, staffed by three Sisters of Loretto, opened with 115 students.
Tabernacle and crucifix.
Continuing with the parish history:
Under the direction of Rev. John P. Ryan, the cornerstone for the present church building was laid on August 23, 1925. The convent on the corner of Marshall and Anna was built in 1937. In 1951, the annex to the rectory was built and in 1952, Rev. William McCarthy directed construction of the gym/parish hall addition to the school building.
In 1971 the school closed due to declining enrollment. On June 12, 1975, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette assumed pastoral responsibility for the parish. In February of 2006, the La Sallet Community found it necessary to return the parish to the Archdiocese and Fr. James Gray assumed pasotoral leadership of the parish. The parish continues to grow and thrive as the only Catholic community in the City of Maplewood.
Detail view of the altar.
Statue of the Virgin with an Easter banner.
A view of the apse.
Windows around the nave feature titles of Our Lady. Here we have Morning Star (“I am the root and offspring of David, the bright morning star” Rev. 22:16) at left, and Gate of Heaven on the right (“This is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven.” Gen. 28:17).
Note that the top of each window has AVE at the top, Latin for ‘hail’, as in the angelic greeting to Mary (Luke 1:28), with an arrow pointing down to EVA, Latin for Eve, the first mother. Mary is the New Eve.
Pietà. Mary holds her dead son Jesus.
This window is in the stairway leading up to the choir loft. It says GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO along with its musical notes.
The organ console.
Clerestory windows show mysteries of Mary's life, with seven dolors of Mary on the left as seen here, and seven joys of Mary on the right.
Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven (Rev. 12:1)
A view of the choir loft and rose window from below.
Jesus' agony in the garden of Gethsemane, depicted in the window above the main entrance. NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE (Luke 22:42)
2934 Marshall Avenue
Maplewood, Missouri 63143