Old St. Vincent’s Catholic Church

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, some of my best adventures happen by chance…

Old St Vincent's  {Living Outside the Stacks} #SoutheastMissouri #SEMO #VisitCape

This past Saturday, The Hubs and I were out for a drive when we noticed a sign in front of Old St. Vincent’s Catholic Church that read “Open for Tours”. I’ve been dying to go inside pretty much since we moved here {I have mad love for gothic style buildings, old homes, and cathedrals/churches}. So, yay for the signage! We went inside and were treated to a tour and a bit of a history lesson.

The first St. Vincent’s Church was constructed in 1838 and destroyed by a tornado in 1850. The existing building was built a year later, using stone from the original building for its foundation.

The church was declared a Chapel of Ease in 1977 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The church is used for services on Sundays and for cultural events the rest of the time.

The chapel is also one of five consecrated churches in the U.S. as it houses relics from four saints.

Old St Vincent's  {Living Outside the Stacks} #SoutheastMissouri #SEMO #VisitCape

The altar

Close up of the scroll work on the barrier that divides the sanctuary from the altar.

Old St Vincent's  {Living Outside the Stacks} #SoutheastMissouri #SEMO #VisitCape

House for the Spirit of Jesus

This container is over a hundred years old and still works! It’s opened with a key and each section opens separately.

Old St Vincent's  {Living Outside the Stacks} #SoutheastMissouri #SEMO #VisitCape

The altar with a 3D sculpture of The Last Supper

Do you see the windows to the left and the right? An interesting story about those: the sisters would enter the door on the right and watch services through the windows. They weren’t covered over the way they are now; material was added to muffle the sounds of machinery that’s now encased in the wall.To the right is where slaves used to sit to watch services. In Missouri, slave owners were required to have their slaves attend services.

Old St Vincent's  {Living Outside the Stacks} #SoutheastMissouri #SEMO #VisitCape

Old St Vincent's  {Living Outside the Stacks} #SoutheastMissouri #SEMO #VisitCape

Sanctuary with a view of the organ in the balcony

The church is built in the shape of a cross, with the stations of the crucifixion posted on the walls. When the church was built, people were illiterate, so they used statues and paintings to depict biblical events so people could look at them and see the story for themselves.

Beautiful, right?

Do you go on historic tours? What are your favorite places to visit?

To learn more about Old St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, click here.

Daenel T

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