The History of Our Lady of Lourdes School
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish began with its first Mass celebrated by Father Francis J. O’Connor on May 7, 1916. Mass was celebrated in the little stucco chapel he erected at his expense just east of the present rectory. On October 14, 1917 Archbishop John J. Glennon laid the cornerstone for the permanent church and dedicated the church on October 26, 1919.
In September 1917, the parish school began with four pupils in the home of Mrs. Clemence Benoist Faris just west of the church, now the Parish Center. When the rectory was completed in 1918, the school moved to the rectory library with 14 students. In 1919, on completion of the new church, the school made up of 31 students moved to the little stucco chapel. There St. Joseph’s Sisters Thomasine and Gertrude took charge.
Nearly 10 years later, in September 1928 over 250 students filled classrooms in the new stone school located just south of the church on our current parking lot. Father O’Connor gave the school his undivided attention. He held it to the highest academic and disciplinary standards and visited every classroom every day. He was especially proud of the school library, the first in a St. Louis Parochial school. Monsignor O’Connor died in 1948.
The parish was then blessed with Monsignor Edward A. Rogers who was the “Pied Piper” pastor in the history of Our Lady of Lourdes. He knew every child in the parish by name and rarely missed an athletic event. After his untimely death in 1960, Bishop Glennon P. Flavin became the Pastor. He led the successful fund drive to build the new school and gymnasium which was dedicated on September 27, 1963.
Father Arthur J. Peet became Our Lady of Lourdes fourth Pastor in 1967. He was the “Cure d’ Ars,” continually making his systematic and compassionate home visitations throughout his 10 year stay. Monsignor Thomas E. Durkin came to Lourdes after Father Peet. To him, the parish is indebted for the new permanent altar that brought the church into conformity with Vatican II Council guidelines on the liturgy. Monsignor Durkin left Lourdes in 1982 followed by Father (later Monsignor) Jerome F. Wilkerson, who was pastor for many years. He led the successful fund drive which enabled the parish to renovate and update much of its aging structures and equipment.
Monsignor Edward J. Sudekum, a charismatic man who knew everyone by name and was also very proud of Our Lady of Lourdes School, was pastor from 1991-2011. He celebrated Mass with the students every Friday morning and was active in every aspect of the school. He attended all the committee meetings including, technology, school board, athletic association and more. Msgr. Sudekum was a great leader and loved and respected by the parish as a whole.
Rev. Carl Scheble was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes for just three short years; 2011-2014. Fr. Carl, as he liked to be called, is vibrant and youthful. He embraced youth programs and encouraged the Youth in our parish, especially those attending school at Washington University and Fontbonne, to become more involved with parish activities.
Currently, Msgr. Richard E. Hanneke presides over the parish. Msgr. Hanneke has big plans for infrastructure and facility improvement with our school and the parish as a whole. The children love Msgr. Hanneke and his dog, Auggie, a golden doodle.
Each day forward becomes another day in history. We pray that the enthusiasm shown by our previous pastors encourages us to keep making Our Lady of Lourdes School a healthy, prayerful place for learning.
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish
7148 Forsyth Blvd.
St. Louis, Missouri 63105
Weekend Mass Schedule
Saturday Vigil: 5:00pm
Sunday: 7:30am, 9:00am (Children's Liturgy of the Word)
11:00am (Choir), 5:00pm