4. Apple Creek: Saint Joseph Church




        HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Joseph Church, in Apple Creek, Missouri. This is the southernmost church of the Archdiocese, in Perry County, and is 92 road miles south by south east of downtown Saint Louis. Apple Creek in a tiny, unincorporated community, originally known as Schnurbusch.





From a church brochure is this history:

"During the [1820s] immigrants from the Baden area of Germany came and settled in this part of Missouri. Priest from 'The Barrens' (St. Mary's Seminary in Perryville) were the first to see their spiritual needs. Father John Odin, C.M., became the first pastor in 1828. Mr. W. Joseph Schnurbusch was a leader in building the first church made of logs. The church was given the name St. Joseph, in his honor."


"The first church, built in 1828, was used for 12 years; then the second, called the Rock Church, was constructed. It was 600 feet north of the present church. In 1881, the cornerstone was laid and in 1884, the present church was completed. The pastor, Rev. Francis Krieger oversaw the construction of the church, the rectory in 1904, and the convent in 1917. He was pastor of St. Joseph for 30 years. He installed a Pfeiffer organ (Opus 7), three bells, named Joseph, Cecelia and Elizabeth. Later for the 100th anniversary, Emil Frye added stained-glass windows."

"The church was again renovated in the fall of 1998. A new marble sanctuary was installed, lights from the 1950s were restored and hung, angel artwork is in place, with future artwork being added over time. The Parish family lavishly decorates the church at Christmas and Easter. The parish currently has 240 registered families."



The rectory. Its interior, like the church, is beautifully decorated.



The nave to the altar




 The altar for the Christmas season.


The altar for the Eastern season.

Details of the high altar

The baptismal font

XIIIth Station


Next to the church is an outdoor Way of the Cross, added in the late 1990s:

The via doloroso leads us down a steep path, which takes us to a beautiful location.




At the bottom are Our Lady of Saint Joseph Shrine and the Schnurbusch Karst Window. The shrine features a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of Our Lady of Grace, an altar, and amphitheater. There is an invisible world beneath our feet, and the collapse of a cave roof allows us to see a small portion of a hidden underground stream. A waterfall appears out of solid rock; and its water goes before the altar, under the stone bridge, and back into a cave. The water here keeps the same cool temperature all year, and so this shrine ought to be delightfully cool in the summertime.  



The old cemetery