Artistic Features of the Church
The church is a GOTHIC STYLE ARCHITECTURE. The dimensions are 148 feet long and 54 feet in width. The height of the tower and steeple is 185 feet. Today the church seating capacity is 400.
One of the most artistic features of the church is the fine Italian Marble used for the high altar in the sanctuary. It is bright white, the symbol of purity, with only faint veining of a darker shade. The front panel is a sculptured replica of Leonardo de Vinci's 'Last Supper.' This was restored in 1999. All flooring and steps are also done in white and black marble.
Nothing so beautifies a church more than the stained glass windows. Here the walls between the windows are equally as wide as the windows themselves. The windows are symmetrical in height with the massive walls of the church. They are 25 feet high and 6 feet in width. The renowned artist, Emil Frei of St. Louis, was designer of the stained glass windows.
The church tower and steeple were built to give an imposing and upward appearance. At 185 feet tall it can be seen for many miles. There are four working clocks on the tower exterior. There are also four working bells within the tower to toll on the hour and half hour. Each has a different name (Joseph, Maria, Anna and Peter), a different size and sound.
In the sanctuary next to the pulpit is a processional cross with an African American figure of Jesus used for all processions. It was designed in 2002 to represent the diversity of the parish. There is an ornate Gothic processional cross made of bronze and decorated with precious stones to be used on high feasts. In 1998 it was restored and placed permanently in church.
On the side altars are displayed the statues of Mary and Joseph which were wood carved in 1878. Today they would be rare and expensive. In 1998 a Book of Resurrection was placed on Mary's altar to honor all those who have died. All names are written in ornate calligraphy by the Pink Sisters. This is a reminder of those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. Also in the front apse of church is a large bronze baptismal font with scenes depicting monastic life. It was found in 1989 stored under the convent and brought to church for the annual Easter water. Its origins remain a mysteiy but perhaps it was brought back from Germany by Msgr. Hellriegel on one of his many visits to his homeland.
Together the 'marble, stained glass, bronze and woodwork compliment one another to present one of the most beautiful and aesthetically ornate churches in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It all began in 1909 through the foresight and generosity of 100 families with a total cost of $55,231. The ageless Catholic hymn, "To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King" was written by Msgr. Martin Hellriegel one year after his arrival in 1940. May this great church give greater honor and glory to God and to Jesus Christ our Sovereign King.
Our Lady of the Holy Cross Catholic Church, 8115 Church Road, St. Louis MO 63147
Tel: (314) 381-0323 Fax: (314) 381-4828 firstname.lastname@example.org