Visitors Guide to the
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church
1919 South 7th Street
St. Louis, MO

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The present building of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church is the third structure to serve the local community in the Soulard Market area of downtown Saint Louis. The first church was built of wood in 1849 on what is now the site of the sanctuary of the current church. This church was founded by Father Simon Sigrist to serve the German immigrants of the first ward. A parish census in 1851 indicated that the church served over 2,000 people. On October 1, 1851, a cornerstone was laid for a new brick church which was completed in 1853 and was built of brick.

In 1858 Father Franz Goller became the pastor of Saints Peter and Paul and remained pastor until he died 52 years later in 1910. Franz Goller was responsible for the construction of the present church as well as for his other duties. By the early 1870s the congregation had outgrown the church building and Father Goller decided to build a new church. While German-American congregations in other cities had built their churches in Greek revival and Italian styles, Goller wanted a church building that would reflect his German roots and those of his parishioners
 and had the building designed in the German Gothic style.

Franz George Himpler, a German architect who studied at the Royal Academy of Architecture in Berlin and had come to the United States in 1867, was hired to design the building. The cornerstone of the new church was laid in June of 1874 and the church was ready for by December of 1875. The tower, which was not in Himpler's original plan, was completed in 1890. Its five bells, each named after a saint, were installed in 1891. The present church of Saints Peter and Paul was directly in the path of the St. Louis cyclone storm of 1896. Although the church suffered severely it was not wholly damaged.

The church was renovated under the direction of Father Francis Krebs who believed that the size of the church in the 1980s was too large for a congregation that had grown smaller due to its parishioners moving to the suburbs. Architect Mike Hughes, renovation designer Father John Buscemi and archdiocesan consultants helped design the renovation. Carpenter Dale Preston did most of the construction, which was completed in 1984 at a cost of $50,000. The major construction involved taking out all of the pews and rearranging them in banked tiers around a new and simple altar table in the front third of the church. The result is a striking blend of tradition and innovation. The high building with its stained-glass windows is the tradition and the four banks of pews represent the innovation. Since the 1990s Father Bruce Forman has undertook a vigorous campaign to complete the restoration of the church and the parish buildings.

Visiting the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church
     Mass Times:
          Saturday: 5 pm
          Sunday: 9:30 am
          Holy Days: 12:05 pm
          Holidays: 9 am
         Weekdays: 8:30 am Monday, Tuesday, Thursday in rectory (except when a Parish Council Meeting is scheduled, then Monday Mass is at 5:30PM)
          12.05 pm Wednesday in church.

There is no charge to visit the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Location: Located in the heart of Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis, five minutes south of downtown hotels and three block south of the famous Soulard Market at the corner of 7th Street and Allen Avenue.

GPS Coordinates
N  38  36.420
W 90  12.189

Learn more about the St. Louis area.

Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church - Official site of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

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