Old St. Edward’s Roman Catholic Church

The beautiful former St. Edward’s Roman Catholic Church, at the corner of Clara and Maffitt, is now owned by Perpetual Praise and Worship Ministries.

It was created in 1893, and closed in 1992, when it and a host of other northside parishes were folded into “New” St. Augustine’s, the former St. Barbara’s in nearby Hamilton Heights.

St. Edward’s also has a very important place in Archdiocesan history, as it played a role in the confrontation between priests and parents fighting the desegregation of parish schools. The parents lost. Another location featuring prominently in this battle was German House in Lafayette Square.

I’ll have to admit; I first thought this was an Evangelisch Lutheran church at first, since the Roman Catholic Archdiocese rarely dabbled in the English Gothic Revival, but I grew suspicious when I saw the bridge from the house next door. This has to be a Roman Catholic church, I thought! Just look at the cool roof on the rectory.

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Patrick Genna says:

    Chris, I too thought it might be an “Evangelisch Kirche.” The stained glass seem to be un-Roman Catholic but the crosses seem un-Lutheran at the time of construction. Danke for this posting.

  2. JoAnn Batsch says:

    Went to school/church here. Could walk from home on Powers Ave.
    was in early 40s. Wonderful memories walking to wells ton. Taking streetcar to downtown. So sad childhood is not the same for my grandkids.

    1. Noreen says:

      My Mom also went here as well
      Passed in 2020 looking to do a Burial Graveside Service from this Church
      Sharon Guilfoy

    2. Susan Celotto says:

      I think my dad and uncle might have gone to school here … Victor & Norman (Ted) Brunelli

  3. Joe Blough says:

    I can recall in the early 1950’s when the African American kids were allowed to attend St. Edward’s School, that one of the very first of these black kids had absolutely no fear. He did, however, cause fear in many of the students already
    attending there, of which I was one. He would bully everyone…even the Nuns. I, and others, got a daily “roughing up” by this new 2nd grader who was a good head taller and much heavier than many of the 4th graders. I remember hearing parents say they thought he was at least 10 years old. At any rate, THAT was our introduction to racial integration in 1950-ish St. Louis, Missouri. Not much has changed.

  4. joanie adams says:

    We’re not supposed to say anything but who then? who else? They could not get blacks to attend by the time we moved away from the area in 1963. Ten-thousand dollars was put into new plumbing for my beloved school only to be torn down several years later. No matter what they tried black kids were not into school. It was a perfect school and parish in every way. The Catholics were something in those days. I could see the church steeple from our living room. St. Edwards Church was everything to me growing up on Roosevelt street. The architecture is an austere English Gothic. I often wonder what happened to all the school desks and gorgeous statuary. It is deplorable what has happened to North Co. And the church’s liberal views got them nowhere.

    1. LaWanda says:

      I am Black and my grandmother was Catholic. We lived in walking
      distance of Saint Edwards Church, my aunt and uncle
      along with other Black children attended Saint Edwards school both aunt and uncle graduated from
      Catholic high Schools. As Black children in the early
      60’s most of us went to public school and loved
      school we had some of the most amazing and dedicated Black teachers, who emphasized the importance of education and you learned period.
      when schools were integrated during that time we had to literally fight to go to school and learn when we had some White teachers who did not want you in the school, AMES for instance. They would tell
      you they did not want you in the school, would not call on you if you raised your hand to answer a question, and ignored classmates who threatened
      violence on Black students after class while in class.
      So to comment that Black kids were not interested in
      school, when we historically fought to stay in schools
      when we were not wanted is offensive. I have two college degrees and graduated from both with honors thanks to the amazing and dedicated teachers I had.

  5. Sue Whitener says:

    I was one of those black -and Catholic- kids who attended St. Edwards, for first grade (1963) – before our family moved out of the city. One of the teachers I will always remember- and loved – Sr. David Joseph… who kept a relationship with my family for many years after we moved, well into my teens. She came to our home & tutored me on the weekends when I was struggling with math as a child (and had dinner with us after). I will ever be grateful to her, and that school. I lived close, and am truly sorry to see the decline of the neighborhood.

  6. Gordon Dewitt says:

    Wow I went to church there was an alter boy and went to grade school there. And walked to school. Lived on Arlington st. It was in the 40.s. Wow memorys. And went to Hadley tech high school.

    1. Noreen says:

      My mom went there as well in 40s
      Sharon Guilfoy
      She passed in Oct 2020
      Looking to do a graveside service from St Edwards Since this will be a complete Circle as TS ELIOTT STATES

  7. Bob BOEHM says:

    I played soccer at Saint Edwards. Captain of undefeated team 196 1957 . a great parish I lived on Greer avenue.fowler BOHN moore BUSS vesPER kOZIATEK Fowler Swick burgameyer brockmeyer mcdermott georgie Burger Massa hubbard Cronin kilcullen obrien cousin PII neighbors

  8. BOB boehm says:

    Nane is PILS NOT PIL ON BOB boehm email also should include Sheldon as cousin brother john ray dick sisters mary margaret charlotte theresa Dorothy PATSY IRENE avd THOMAS EDWARD

  9. Patricia Jackson says:

    Went to school there graduated in 1957. Was told the school was torn down. Sad.

    Pat ( Patricia Moses ) Jackson

  10. joanie adams says:

    St. Edwards was a core part of my childhood. I adored this church. I would attend Mass during summer break. Catholic discipline. The Mass then in Latin, was structured; the hymns were gorgeous melodies. The school across the street formed much of who I am today. I was a big fish in a little pond there. The Sisters of St. Joseph were really something if not for striking the fear of God in you. I remember names of those who donated on the mosaic windows. We did the REAL stations of the cross all through out Lent. I moved away in 1979. It was me and a classmates duty to distribute the Parish Praise and Sings books. The last time I visited I was accidentally locked in! It breaks my heart into a million pieces to see what has happened. And it’s not Christian like to expound as to why. However, I had only two blocks to walk to Roosevelt which is now also a blighted street with my childhood home turned into a backfilled urban lot. I keep a photo of St. Edwards in many places throughout my home and forever in my heart.

  11. Pat ( Moses ) Jackson says:

    Went to St. Edward’s. 1st through 8th grade. Graduated in 1957.

    1. Johnson says:

      My mother was married there .
      I went to school from 1960 -1964
      My mom’s parents lived on Clare
      Then we lived in the same house 1960 -1964 .
      Tell the truth I really do not remember any bad stuff .
      The way I remember it in 8th grade
      All black except 6or7 white
      And do not remember any bad stuff we all seem to get along .

  12. Lester says:

    Well back in those days the majority of people both black & white had manners, and were raised to treat others with respect.

    Nowadays, everyone walks around with a chip on their shoulder ready to shoot to kill. Kids aren’t made to behave in school. Drugs are everywhere. No involved parents equates to no morals. Maybe being “woke” isn’t as great as Hollywood makes it out to be? Life seemed better and safer when we were “asleep”.

    1. joanie adams says:

      Well put Lester. The tolerance of this behavior in society does us all harm.

  13. Wayne Hanebrink says:

    My family lived in the parish for many years, I attended St. Edward’s and graduated in 1956, We lived on Ashland Ave and of course in those days everyone walked to school. I remember that the Sunday Mass for the students was in the basement of the church and the Nuns would check attendance. Too bad that today’s kids can’t have all the fun we did growing up. Since no videol games and little TV, we made up our own games and were always outside doing something.

  14. Carol Layton Watts says:

    I also grew up in St. Edwards as my sister. We lived on highland so it was a walk 4 times a day unless we ate lunch that was not often.I think I graduated in 56 and then went to Rosati Kain. High school Life seemed so much easier then. Does anyone remember the little mom and pop store?

    1. LaWanda says:

      My family lived on Burd Ave walking distance to Saint
      Edwards church. I am Black and attended that church
      for many years who was a devout Catholic, as a child
      I attended church and bible study after church which
      was held in what I would call the basement of the church. I remember walking to the church with my
      grandmother for sunrise services, midnight mass held Xmas eve, my uncle Edward Charles was baptized in that church. both he and aunt went to
      and graduated from Catholic school. My grandmother stayed in that church and when she became too ill a priest would come to the house, I
      was about 10 years old. There was a Mom and Pop
      store on the corner of Burd, we called it Miss Polly’s
      In the late 50’s and 60’s the area was nice, people
      took pride in what ever they had. My family left St.
      Louis in 1978, came back and when I drove through
      the city my brother and I wanted to cry. It was in 1984

  15. FRANK A DWYER says:

    love hearing about ST. EDWARDS WENT THERE IN THE MID-40S it was a great school nice neighborhood to live in the school will always be on my mind I NOTED THE OTHER DAY ABOUT END OF SCHOOLTRIP IN MAY to TWIN LAKES I WAS WRONG IT WAS WEST LAKES I SHOULD KNOW SOME OF YOU PEOPLE AS WE ALL LIVE SO CLOSE -WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU EVEN IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME -MAY GOD BE WITH ALL

  16. Carol Ann Wagner says:

    We lived on Belt Avenue. My family moved into the St. Edward’s parish around 1920.
    My mother not only made her First Communion and Confirmation there but my parents
    were also married in St. Edward’s Church. My older brother, younger sister and myself
    walked back and forth to school. However, when there was a lot of snow, we had lunch in the
    school basement. Does anyone remember that each classroom had a library? Or do you
    remember Father Murray who became Vical General? I graduated in 1950.

    1. Pat Jackson says:

      I went to St. Edward’s school . Graduated in 1957. Lived on Labadie.
      Pat ( Patricia Moses ) Jackson

      Good memories!

  17. Sister Beauvier (Joseph: I Believe) was atracher at St. Edwards grade school 19XX -1959. I had her in 57 while in the 6th grade. As I remember she was a tall woman and respected and feared by all students. She was instramental in my becoming an alter boy. I was told she had taught two generations of boys only. She was the most famous Sister of that time. She died in1959 (or 60) and had one of the largest processions of mourners ever known to that area. I always respected her as she had a firm grip on all students. She simply looked at you and you knew you were in trouble. I am an author and a poet. My name is Raymond G. Schmidt II, I’ll be 82 in October and still hold her in special esteem for her guidance.

  18. Charles Zang says:

    Remembering living on Ashland Ave. (the horseshoe), loved candy apples at Brays candy shop, hard to get bubble gum in the 40,s, the bakery at the loop. Sister Bonaventure (bless her heart). Our crowed would meet on the rectory steps and decide where to cruise. St. Edward’s meant so much to all of us. Met my wife of 63 years in grade school. Graduated in 1952 with Jackie Dowd, Rich Money, and Johnny Comer. Yes, I miss it all.

    1. cnaffziger says:

      You grew on the Horseshoe? I’m sure you know it’s completely gone now, right? Thank you for sharing your memories.

  19. Wayne Hanebrink says:

    I also remember playing bottle caps using an old broom stick and trying to hit thrown bottle caps. Also the tavern down on Belt just down from Ashland had a corkball pit and regular league ganme during the week. The neighborhood men would take their beer buckets down to the tavern for a fill and come back home and sit on the steps and shoot the bull for a few hours with a refill or two along the way. Of course as kids, we would try to sneak a sip or two. Never knew how good we had it. I remember Sister Bonnie Jo teaching the eigth grade boys and the school Principal (?) taught the girls.

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