I left southeast Missouri and went up near St. Louis to sleep. St. Louis has a very rich Catholic history from both the French and the Germans so I was excited to see several churches.
Day Nine: I parked downtown and walked to several churches. First off was the Basilica Of St. Louis King Of France. It sits almost under the arch and it would be difficult to take a bad photo with that setting.
Then over to the Church Of St. John The Apostle And Evangelist - a former Cathedral. I talked a maintenace man into letting me in even though it was closed.
Then I walked over to the Shrine Of St. Joseph. It was also closed, but a volunteer who happened to be at the rectory not only let me in he gave me a tour that included the museum in the rectory. He was a Korean War vet who was very excited about his church and his city. St. Joseph is no longer a parish - just a shrine, but he told me that most of the weddings in the area happen there and I can see why. The church was amazing with an amazing story. Built in 1844 for a thriving German population the church later suffered as the people left the area. It simply fell apart and was scheduled to be closed in the early 1980s. In 1981 three teenage boys broke into the rectory to steal stuff and murdered the priest while he slept. The community rallied around the slain priest and poured money into St. Joseph. A new roof and countless hours of work later it is now one of the most beautiful churches that I have ever been to. My little camera does not do it justice.
From there I went over to the main Cathedral of St. Louis - known as the Cathedral Basilica Of St. Louis. It is large and impressive. Again I met a nice old man who wanted to give me a tour. People of St. Louis are very proud of there city. He lead me all over the Cathedral and insisted on taking some pictures with what he called my "fancy new camera."
I then stopped at a couple of parish churches. First I went to St. Ambrose - (my confirmation name)
Then to St. Anthony of Padua where yet another proud church goer insisted on a guided tour
I reluctantly left St. Louis to head home to Columbus, but I stopped across the river in Belleville, Illinois for one last Cathedral first.
From there I jumped on route 70 and drove east. It is really boring being on the same highway for four states. Nine days, 4155 miles, 10 states, 1970 pictures, 40 churches (25 Cathedrals, 5 Basilicas, 5 Parish Churches, 4 Mission Churches, and 1 Shrine). As I get all of the information into my computer I will post some totals for my church project.