Former St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church

I discovered the former St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church somehow in the Walnut Park neighborhood, so I went by to take some pictures. Founded in 1919, It’s based off Lombard Romanesque architecture, which I saw in Milan in churches such as Saint Ambrose.

St. Philip Neri Church, Thekla and Durant, Photograph by William Swekosky, c. 1940-1959, Missouri History Museum, N07074

But really there are all sorts of hulking piles of monumental stone all over northern Italy that this church owes a debt of inspiration to. I really love the design of this church, and the day I went by there were people coming and going, doing some cleaning work on a Saturday. I’m glad that a new congregation can use it.

The back has a huge apse, much like a post-Reformation church might have, and its bell tower continues the theme of a Lombard church would have.

St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church, Thekla Avenue and Durant Avenue, Photograph by Alexander Piaget, c. 1935-38, Missouri History Museum, N29582

There was a school next door, as well, which is in good condition.

It is also in use today, as well, and I am happy to see this church and its campus still functioning as a landmark in the neighborhood.

St. Philip Neri and St. Adalbert were closed in 1993 to create Simon of Cyrene in the former’s campus. Simon of Cyrene then in turn closed in 2005.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Karl Bandow says:

    Just beautiful, especially on a sunny day as it was in your photos. Very nice! It pains me to see such beautiful buildings when they are abandoned and neglected. Pray that this never happens to this series of buildings!

  2. Chris Benson says:

    I attended St Philip Neri as a young child in the 1950s. It was indeed very beautiful inside, I recall white marble altar steps that were very smoothly worn down from decades of use, even by the 50s. If only the spirit of the nuns had been as lovely as the church- I recall them as really awful and unkind, even to innocent little children.

    1. Sandra Van Horn says:

      I also attended st. Philip Neri I was born in 1961 so I guess it was 1966 me and my sister both I do have fond memories
      Perkins with my maiden name

  3. Is that church for sale or rent?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      It is fully occupied currently with a new congregation.

  4. Andy Leach says:

    I attended St Philip Neri starting Kindergarten in 1941, first grade 1942, second in 1943, third in 1944. I received my 1st Communion there in first grade and was confirmed in second grade. Msgr Kennedy was Pastor and Rev William Poepperling (Serial sex offender) was Assistant Pastor. I visited the inside of the school in 2005 and took pictures of the kindergarten room then use for day care and the 1st grade classroom on the second floor. The church was closed.

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