Old St. Ferdinand Shrine Undergoes Restoration, Updating
Volunteers, donors are now needed to keep the project going.
One of the oldest churches west of the Mississippi and in Florissant is getting some restoration work done.
Old St. Ferdinand Shrine has been undergoing restoration work for the past year with much more work left to go, Geri Debo, a representative of Friends of Old St. Ferdinand, said.
Debo said the past year, there has been a new roof completed, the schoolhouse received a new floor and paint and a security system was put in place.
Father Thomas Keller, who has been a leading force for Friends of Old St. Ferdinand in doing the restoration, said a major infusion of cash donations are needed to continue the restoration.
Father Keller, pastor of Saint Angela Merici, said that tuck-pointing, which is the removal and replacement of cracked or missing mortar, replacement of the heating and cooling system as well as paint and plaster work remain to be done. Currently, 14 statues throughout the church are being restored.
“It’s an important complex of buildings,” he said. “The building is the oldest brick structure in the area and one of the few that dates back to the frontier.”
Debo said that the vision is to bring back the story of St. Rose Phillippine Duchesne and eventually be able to do weddings and other events in the church.
Father Keller said, “It’s really something there for people interested in history of Florissant or the frontier.”
The Florissant Rotary Club, Old Town Florissant Partners, City of Florissant, Historical Florissant and Florissant Valley Historical Society are ardent supporters of the project, Father Keller said.
To donate or to find out how to be a volunteer for the restoration, visit the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine website or call 314-837-2110.