Who We Are
St. Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love, total devotion, and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God and in the importance of his mission.
Impelled by the love of Christ, with St. Patrick as our patron, we, the Parish Family of St. Patrick, are called to create a welcoming home for all who seek to know Christ in His loving body, the Church. As the Body of Christ, made in His image and likeness, we are called to use the gifts that He has given us, to care as He would care, to teach as He would teach, to challenge ourselves to grow as He would have us grow, and to reach out to others in our community with a warm love, which is Christ’s love.
Our parish is strong in faith, generous in hospitality, and dedicated to God and His Grace within each of us. Following in the footsteps of our patron, St. Patrick, we have the fervor to spread our faith and be proud of our humble beginnings. We are truly ALIVE and GROWING IN JESUS' NAME. Through the intercession of St. Patrick, may God truly continue to bless and keep us.
St. Patrick Parish began as a mission parish of Montgomery City. Reverend J. J. Head attended to the mission, as well as other missions and parishes in the towns along the Wabash railroad. In those days, Father Head made the trip to Wentzville twice a month to celebrate Sunday Mass. Masses were held in the Masonic building in town. The other Sundays, the parishioners had to travel by horse and wagon to Josephville for Mass. During the winter, it was extremely treacherous in the snow. After many prayers and requests from parishioners, especially Mr. and Mrs. Philip Post, coupled with 15 long, arduous trips to St. Louis by Mr. Post and various other parishioners, Archbishop Kenrick finally relented and gave permission to start a Catholic Church and school in Wentzville. On September 15, 1882, Bishop Patrick J. Ryan dedicated this mission as St. Patrick Parish in keeping with his Irish heritage, but there was still the need of an actual Church. We have the families of Reinecke and Mispagel to thank for mortgaging their farms to raise money to get the parish started. The land was secured from Colonel Joseph and Mrs. Ruth Savage in the sum of $200.00 for three and a half acres. This property is the present site of the parish buildings on Church Street.
Although the Church had been dedicated in 1882, our first resident Pastor, Father Peter Byrne, did not arrive on the scene until 1905. Father Byrne resided in the Wentzville Hotel until the parochial residence was built. Father John Kretchter succeeded Father Byrne and began establishing a school, holding classes in his residence until 1909 when the school was completed. Over the years, the parish has benefited from the hard work and dedication of 16 Pastors, our first Associate Pastors, and 3 permanent Deacons. Between 60 and 70 Sisters of the Most Precious Blood have served St. Patrick School as teachers and as Principals. Many caring lay teachers have also served the school, and we are still benefiting from their hard work and commitment.
We have moved forward as we have grown and built to house the faithful of St. Patrick. We started with a handful of families and today we are a parish of 1900 families. With the same determination of our founding parishioners, we look to the future with hope and strength.
Ground was broken for our present church on August 17,1986 and the cornerstone was laid March 29, 1987. On September 27,1987, with our Archbishop, John L. May, we dedicated our Church as a wonderful tribute to God from the people of St. Patrick Parish.
From the outside, the church has a Mediterranean look with rounded archways and angular comers. The steeple houses three bronze bells of graduated size. The large bell is four feet round, the medium bell is three feet round and the small one is two feet round. They were specially ordered and cast in Holland for St. Patrick Church. A large statue of St. Patrick stands in the front entrance. St. Patrick is wearing boots and a simple tunic with a large Celtic cross around his neck. Three shamrocks decorate the ends of each side of his stole. He carries a Bible in one hand and a cross-shaped walking staff in the other hand. A sculpture of the Risen Christ adorns the left wall near the entrance. The hands of Christ are outstretched to each side as on the cross. He faithfully welcomes all to him and invites us to accept the new life he offers. Christ is looking on us with great love as he lifts up and presents our parish, our lives, and all our intentions before our good and gracious God.
A skylight over the marble altar illuminates the fan-shaped church. A crucifix, representing the one Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, is re-presented, that is, made present sacramentally. As a symbol of the saving act of Jesus Christ, the crucifix most vividly reminds us that Christ died for our sins, which is the focus of the Sacrifice of the Mass. In this light, the crucifix helps direct people to the central purpose of the Mass, and recalls St. Paul’s admonition to “preach Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2; cf. 1 Cor. 1:23 and Gal. 6:14). A second, smaller skylight illuminates our sculpture of the Holy Family. Mary and Joseph are holding the hands of Jesus and following him as a model for all of us. He is leading them rather than being held by them. The relief of the Holy Family, the Resurrected Christ, and the statue of St. Patrick were sculpted by Rudy Torrini. Our beautiful crucifix was donated by Bishop Edward Rice.
The organ also was specially ordered and custom made to fit specifications for the worship area of our church. It was completely assembled, tested and voiced at the factory in Illinois. Then it was disassembled, transported to St. Patrick and reassembled in our church - all 575+ pipes.
Red oak paneling adorns the walls matching the finish of the altar, baptismal font, and pews. There are two sets of three circular stained glass windows set inside a frame of solid red oak. The windows were designed and made by Pat and Doug Ehrhard. Together, the windows symbolize the Sacraments of Initiation. In the center window of the first set is a dove with tongues as of fire representing the Holy Spirit. Above the dove is a diagram of one continuous line forming seven sides and seven points. The window to the left, pictures our church's baptismal font with a shell for pouring water above it. The window to the right represents the Sacrament of Confirmation with the laying on of hands and prayer over a person. The Spirit in the form of a dove is above the scene.
The second set of windows symbolizes our sacrament of the Eucharist. A Celtic cross is the focus of the center window. Greek letters forming a monogram for the name of Jesus are above the cross. A chalice with a cluster of grapes above it is shown in the window to the left. A dish or paten holds the Eucharistic bread in the window to the right. Many grains on a full head of wheat are above the bread. Baptismal water fills the lower part of all six windows and serves as a foundation. The water gracefully curves upward on both side windows in each set of three holding the imagery together.
A seventh stained glass window brightens the Daily Chapel/Family Room. It is a colorful scene of Jesus enjoying the company of children. A rainbow, along with a dove carrying an olive branch, forms a border around this picture.
As we continue to grow as a parish, we pray that our greatest growth be in knowing the love of Christ and in being a sign of His love to every member of our Parish, our families, and our community. We love our Parish and hope it will always praise and thank the Lord for all His blessings.