old cathedral

Archbishop Carlson ordains former Anglican priest Father Michael Rennier


Archbishop Robert J. Carlson conferred the Sacrament of Holy Orders upon Father Michael Rennier Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Coneption, at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral) Downtown.

Father Rennier is a former Anglican priest who entered the Catholic Church in 2011. He underwent a period of formation before receiving permission from the Vatican's Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to proceed with ordination to the Catholic priesthood.

Old Cathedral museum tour impresses educators

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org | @aeternusphoto

Michele Bowman of Restorations Plus helped Father Richard Quirk set up the new museum at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral). She talked about the banner donated from Visitation/St. Ann Shrine that now hangs as a testament to our Catholic history. The banner was made to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Archbishop Peter Kenrick on Nov. 30, 1891. The Old Cathedral’s museum honors the significant role of the Catholic Church in the migration of settlers to the West.

Father Richard Quirk faced questions even before he began a tour of the newly updated museum at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral).

Cathy Johns, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the Catholic Education Center of the archdiocese, saw depictions of the first church and wanted to know where it was located.

Street evangelizers hit the sidewalk, bring the faith to St. Louis


Sherri Devany was on her way to work at the Arch when she was stopped just outside the Old Cathedral.

"Would you like a free rosary?"

Chip Awalt extended his hand, clutching a bright, plastic-beaded devotional. Devany, a Lutheran, grinned and obliged him.

"I've never owned a rosary before," she said. "This is awesome!"

‘WHERE IT ALL BEGAN’ | Mass at the Old Cathedral highlights contributions of religious orders in St. Louis

A Mass celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis was held for religious of the archdiocese at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, Aug. 24. In attendance was Cardinal Justsin Rigali , papal legate and Archbishop-Emeritus of Philadelphia, Archbishop of St. Louis Robert J. Carlson and Bishop Edward Rice of St. Louis. Special guests in attendance at the Mass were Prince Louis de Bourbon and his wife Princess Marie-Marguerite.After Mass the religious of the archdiocese gathered for a photograph in the newly renovated cathedral with Archbishop Robert Carlson and Bishop Edward Rice.

Down by the riverfront, the faithful gathered for a Mass at the site of the Old Cathedral, in an area to become known as the Gateway to the West.

They worshipped in a one-room log cabin, then they left on foot, on horseback or in horse-drawn buggies.

The year was 1764; the Mass was the first in newly formed Laclede Village, founded by Pierre Laclede and August Chouteau and later renamed St. Louis — for King Louis IX of France.

Old Cathedral called 'the heartbeat' of Arch grounds

A rendering shows that the Old Cathedral’s walls, ceiling and columns will be repainted to reflect decorative schemes that date back to the Victorian era. Interior restoration, extensive stone repair outside and work on the steeple are being done on the building known as St. Louis’ oldest treasure.

The Basilica of St. Louis King of France, better known as the Old Cathedral, is considered the heartbeat of the Arch grounds, and the church's restoration is an important part of a project to connect and reinvigorate those grounds.

Maggie Hales, executive director of CityArchRiver 2015, made that remark at a gathering June 3 at the Old Cathedral sponsored by the Campaign to Restore the Old Cathedral. Work on the restoration is progressing, with scaffolding showing evidence of the progress. Some $7 million has been raised, and $2 million more is being sought.

Thank you for your generosity toward Old Cathedral

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

On behalf of all who cherish the rich history and spiritual tradition of our beloved Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, I wish to personally thank the parishioners of the Archdiocese of St. Louis who supported the special collection for the Old Cathedral. Through your generosity, we have raised more than $240,000 and your gifts have been earmarked for work on the interior of the church.

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