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Saint Louis: Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

About the Saint Francis de Sales Oratory in Saint Louis, Missouri:

Saint Francis de Sales Church was built in the tradition of the European Gothic churches.The design of the church interior was based on those of German hall churches,  with ceilings over the side naves almost as high as those over the main nave increasing the open feeling and spaciousness.  Its’ many features will inspire you, among them a  a magnificent array of stained glass windows, created by Emil Frei, Sr., considered to be St. Louis’ premier stained glass artist. Frei and his wife had emigrated to San Francisco from Germany but were so homesick for the Old Country, they decided to return there. On their way across the country, they stopped in St. Louis to visit some German friends. They were so taken by the German community of South St. Louis, that they stayed. Emil Frei, who had studied at the Munich School of Arts and Crafts, went on to design the stained glass windows of several St. Louis churches.

The High Altar and the reredos, the ornate screen behind the altar, are in a large apse. The reredos, altars, pulpit, communion rail, pews and confessionals in the church are of carved wood. The 52-foot high reredos features a series of pinnacles with niches depicting different scenes and is framed by carvings of angels. It was made by E. Hackner Co. of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Smaller apses on the sides of the main apse feature altars to the Blessed Mother and to Saint Joseph.

The church has a 130-foot long nave, one of the longest of the churches in St. Louis, and its beautiful interior and solemn liturgy has made it apt for the worship of God. The church has four bells including one from the original church.

The transept projects to both sides of the central nave, features altars to Our Mother of Perpetual Help in the North, and the Infant of Prague in the South.

The Baptistery features Byzantine-style glittering mosaics. The work was done by the same artists who worked on the mosaics in the new Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. Lapis lazuli stone from Persia was used for the blue sky mosaic in the vaulted ceiling.

In July 2005, the church building, and campus was given to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to maintain and administer the sacraments according to the 1962 Roman Missal. The then-Archbishop of St. Louis and now Cardinal, His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, erected the church as an Oratory of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Today, St. Francis de Sales Oratory serves the entire archdiocese of St. Louis and is the center of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Finding the Saint Francis de Sales Oratory in Saint Louis, Missouri:

Address: 2653 Ohio Avenue St. Louis  Missouri 63118

Tel:  +1 (314) 771-3100

Fax: +1 (314) 771-3295

email: sfds@institute-christ-king.org

Click here for the official website of the Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri.

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