Historical Timeline

1825: Fr. John Timon, A Vincentian priest, was assigned to serve the population of Perry & Cape Girardeau counties.

July 8, 1833: Fr. Timon celebrated Mass in the first temporary church which was a warehouse of Don Louis Lorimier.
It was close to the riverfront and near to the Red House, Lorimier’s home.

April 30, 1838: Cornerstone of the first church was laid by Bishop Joseph Rosati, C.M. This stone structure distinctly resembled the Old Cathedral on the St. Louis riverfront.

1850: First church of native stone destroyed by a violent tornado.

1851: Within six months construction began on the present church. The stone of the original church was used for the new foundation. The church was designed by a noted Missouri architect, Thomas Warying Walsh. The church is in the style of Renaissance architecture in which architects refer to the style of the church as English Gothic Revival.

1900: A spire of undetermined height was erected on the occasion of the golden jubilee.

1905: The spire was struck by lightning.

1912: Lightning again strikes the spires and it was destroyed by fire. The present steeple was constructed in 1912.

1926: The vestibule at the front entrance was added sometime after 1900. The shape of the church is cruciform; shape of a cross. There are nine arches intertwined in the choir loft. Architects’ speculation is that the arches were designed to support the tall spire in the original design. Pews show evidence of originally having gates (doors) as well a partitions. There was a pedestal which gave evidence of a pulpit near the front of the church.

December 1977: Old St. Vincent Church was declared a Chapel of Ease. Restoration begins. It has remained a place of worship since Father Timon came to this area in 1833.

April 1982: Old St. Vincent Church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1997: Exterior and interior restoration completed.

August 2013: First wedding held at Old St. Vincents in over 30 years. Weddings will now be held on a regular basis.

2013: Exterior of the Church was resealed.

Present: Old St. Vincent Church continues to serve the Cape Girardeau community as a Religious & Cultural Center.