Catholicism in Cape Girardeau

The people of Old St. Vincent’s have published a coffee-table style book titled Old St. Vincent Church: A Pictorial and Historical Sketch of Catholicism in Cape Girardeau.

The 8.5″ x 11″ hard bound book of 256 pages is dedicated to Monsignor Joseph Gosche and Monsignor Richard Rolwing (who directed the restoration of Old St. Vincent Church), The Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) and The Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross. The book contains 289 photos, many of which date to the early 1900s. More than half of the photos are in color and are spread throughout the book.

We, as Catholics in the southeast area of the state of Missouri, have an illustrious past with glorious growth, and it began at Old St. Vincent Church. This book tells about the history of the Sisters of Loretto and the Vincentians—their parish, the Young Ladies Academy, St. Vincent’s College (Seminary), their parochial school and their kindergarten. In addition, the writers present detailed historical timelines and photos for St. Vincent de Paul Parish, the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish, Knights of Columbus, Saint Francis Medical Center, Catholic Campus Ministry, and Notre Dame Regional High School. The writers also present the family tree of parishes of St. Vincent de Paul Parish highlighting the creation of St. Mary Parish (1868) and Holy Family Church (1940). The writers tell about the formation of Old St. Vincent’s (1977)—the fight to save the church, and its being designated a Chapel of Ease and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It chronicles the restoration process, some of the people involved in the restoration and Old St. Vincent’s today.

The book lists all the pastors of the Cathedral of St. Mary, Catholic Campus Ministry, Holy Family Church, St. Vincent de Paul and Old St. Vincent’s. The book also includes a comprehensive bibliography and a detailed index emphasizing primarily the names of the people presented in the book.

The book may be obtained by making a $15 donation to Old St. Vincent’s Church and mailing it to one of the following writers: Ron Kirby, 2184 Sussex Drive; Mick Stiver, 2560 Meadow Lane; or Grace Sullivan, 759 West Rodney Drive. All three live in Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Please add $8 for packaging and shipping if the book needs to be mailed.