Hallowed Ground - A Tour of the Laclede Groves Chapel Defined
The beating heart of the Laclede Groves senior living community, our historic chapel, was constructed circa 1919 by the Sisters of Mercy, the original owners of the campus. The centerpiece for the Sisters' Webster Groves convent, the chapel, was built in the fashion of a European gothic cathedral, as evidenced by its soaring archways and the tau-style floor plan that emulates the cross of Christ.
Two of the chapel's most striking features are its large stained glass windows - created and installed by Emil Frei, Inc. - and its mosaic depictions of the early church fathers that grace the chancel area. These eight figures were created by German artist August Oetken, who would go on to create the elaborate mosaicwork that graces the walls of the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. (The eight-piece installation originally served as Oetken's audition piece for the Basilica commission before it was donated to the Sisters of Mercy).
In the early 1970s, the convent building and the surrounding 64-acre property was purchased by Lutheran Charities Association, (a forbearer of Lutheran Senior Services). The chapel was formally rededicated on April 25 1971, through the guidance of The Reverend Doctor Arthur Carl Piepkorn of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. The chapel underwent a major renovation in the mid 2000s to restore it to its original beauty.
This web presence will take you on a tour of the historic relics embodied in the chapel. They enrich the ceremonies to honor the lives of those who are memorialized there today. They represent the devotion of the Sisters of Mercy who ministered in this space when it was a Motherhouse more than 100 years ago and they serve as an homage to the centuries old saints, martyrs, symbols and liturgical traditions venerated through the sacred art.