Old St. Ferdinand Shrine

Florissant, Missouri

"Oldest Catholic Church between the Mississippi and Rocky Mountains"

Constructed 1819-1820

The oldest Catholic congregation in St. Louis was founded in 1770. This congregation was located at what we know today as the "Old Cathedral" (below the Gateway Arch). It was originally a log church, then rebuilt in 1776, and later constructed of brick in  1820. The "Old Cathedral" we know today was built in 1834. While it is an older congregation, the church building at St. Ferdinand is the oldest structure surviving by fourteen years.

Visitors coming to St. Ferdinand will notice once they enter inside, that most of the Church is constructed of logs, with only the exterior and front section of the building constructed of bricks.  It was here on September 23, 1827 in this log church building that Father Peter De Smet (known to the Indians as "Black Robe") was ordained in the Catholic Church. Father De Smet became missionary to the Indians and traveled over 180,000 miles across the American West.

North wing, used as the parish priest's residence.

South wing of St. Ferdiand was built in 1819. It was originally used as a convent. It was here that Philippine Rose Duchesne stayed before moving to St. Charles.

Old St. Ferdinand School

Spanish Land Grant Park, adjacent to St. Ferdinand Shrine, is the old
burial ground for the parish. While some of the graves were relocated
to the new cemetery, the majority of Florissant's founding families still
remain buried here. No gravemarkers are present..

Old St. Ferdinand Shrine is maintained by:
Friends of Old St. Ferdinand Shrine
P.O. Box 222
Florissant, Mo. 63031
Phone: 314-837-2110
The shrine is open on Sundays 1-4 PM, April thru December.

 Related Pages:


History's Time Portal to Old St. Louis

You are the 29587th Visitor to this Site. This page was last updated Thursday, 17-Jan-2002 10:27:56 CSTby Scott K. Williams, Florissant, Mo.  

Photos and text by Scott K. Williams, Florissant, Missouri