My favorite church in the whole city after St. Augustine on the North Side is St. Francis de Sales, anchoring a corner of Gravois and Ohio for the last century.
It is no longer a parish church, but an oratory, from the Latin word to pray or speak.
For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the Archdiocese would end regular worship services at one of its principal churches while smaller parish churches remain open. Wouldn’t you want to keep the most prominent parishes going?
Regardless, the church is a fantastic example of Gothic Revival architecture, and more specifically, it reminds me of northern German Gothic that is prominent in cities such as Cologne or Speyer.
The church is known as a hall church, which means that the aisles are deemphasized in favor of producing a long, central nave. It also has a transept, which perhaps shows its French influence as well.
They need a million dollars to fix the tower, apparently.
What is so wonderful about the church is that it defines the neighborhood, creating a visual anchor that can be seen from most of the South Side and creates a focal point for the area.