Pastor: Fr. Daniel White, SJ
Founded in 1841, St. Francis Xavier College Church is a spirit-filled faith community that draws from more than 100 ZIP codes in the St. Louis area. Located on Saint Louis University’s campus, the College Church is known for its beautiful worship space, joyful liturgies and a congregation committed to social justice.
St. Francis Xavier College Church began in downtown St. Louis in the 1830s as a parish for the growing Irish community. It was the first English-speaking parish in the city and one of the earliest Catholic churches to be opened for public services.
The community began as the chapel for Saint Louis College (now University), thus garnering the nickname College Church, which it has kept ever since. As the city population moved west, Saint Louis University moved with it. In 1867, property was purchased as a new site for the university, and in 1879, Archbishop Peter R. Kenrick gave the Jesuits permission to build a new church on the site.
Construction of the new church was finally concluded in 1914 with the completion of the steeple, which was designed to be tall and impressive so that it could be seen throughout the city. It remains prominently visible today at the corner of Grand and Lindell Blvds. in Midtown.
College Church Today
The College Church community, both its leaders and its members, have a vision of what they want their parish to be. That vision includes promoting anti-racism, investing in youth and caring for God’s creation. There is a service opportunity for almost any interest, from assisting people who are homeless to obtain legal documentation and register to vote to making casseroles for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
College Church embraces a spirit of collaboration. It draws worshippers from throughout the St. Louis area. It is a member of the North City Deanery. Situated on a college campus, it has a large student population, but also has more than 200 children in its faith formation program. It is many things to many people.
With all that goes in such a large and diverse parish, the staff and parishioners stay focused on their vision of what a Jesuit parish should be: one that lives out their faith through community outreach, vibrant ministries and engagement as a force for good in the world.
Join College Church for Mass at 10:30 a.m. CDT Sundays.