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Saint Louis Dream Center, Former Most Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church

Until I began researching all of the Roman Catholic parishes in St. Louis, I had absolutely no idea that Most Holy Rosary existed up in the Penrose neighborhood. It is a beautiful church, with perhaps some understated Norman Gothic Revival architecture, and it is still occupied by a new church, the Saint Louis Dream Center, that has kept it well maintained. It opened in 1891, probably in an earlier structure, and closed in 1994, combining with St. Engelbert’s to form St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist in the latter’s building.

The Rosary increased in prominence due to St. Dominic de Guzmán, and its popularity increased greatly after the victory of the Holy League over the Ottoman navy at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, which credited the intercession of the Virgin Mary. The second oldest church in St. Louis, St. Mary of Victories, commemorates that battle, as does Santa Maria Della Vittoria in Rome (interestingly, the church in St. Louis is plural victories, while the Roman church is singular victory).

There is a large stained glass window, though it doesn’t look like Emil Frei & Associates work, which is so common in Catholic churches in St. Louis.

The massive tower reminds me of the one at Glastonbury Tor, which you can see here.

Like many English cathedrals, it has a double transept in back.

The new congregation offers carwashes along the north side the church on Saturdays, and also a food pantry in the building to the south of the old rectory. It’s great to see that this church is still a community center in the neighborhood.

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