We, the community of believers of St. Nicholas Catholic Church are called by GOD to give living witness to the saving power of Jesus offered freely to all humanity. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit and sent into the world to recreate the face of the earth. In the light and the truth of the Gospel message, we are committed to: Grow in our faith, participate in and support our Church, to reach beyond ourselves to meet the needs of others who seek to better their lives by unashamedly living our Catholic faith.
The Civil War was just closing its gory annals of fratricidal fury, when a group of parishioners went to Archbishop Kenrick with the request for a new Catholic parish. They lived too far from St. Joseph’s Church, they told him. “Secure a suitable place, and I will lend a helping hand,” were the friendly words of the church authorities. In October 1865, a prominent site on the north-east corner of 19th St. and Lucas Avenue was finally purchased for the sum of $10,500.00. The work progressed so favorably that Archbishop Kenrick was able to lay the cornerstone of the new St. Nicholas Church on May 4, 1866.
In September 1926, Archbishop Glennon entrusted the church, school and the rectory of the famous old landmark of St. Louis Catholic history to the care of the Society of the Divine Word, to serve as a Mission Church for the downtown district and to evangelize the African-American population who meanwhile had moved into the neighborhood. For decades the Fathers of the Society of the Divine Word and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and later the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood provided for the sacramental life and educational formation of our students.
In the 1940s Cardinal Ritter, a champion for the cause of equality in education, desegregated the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese. The parish buildings, which were in constant use for over a hundred years, soon became no longer “attractive” nor serviceable to the new parish population. Thus in 1960, Cardinal Ritter gave permission for the erection of a whole new parish compound-church, school center, rectory and convent. Two years later, he dedicated the new parish buildings. This was at the time when the community was building a new baseball stadium and the gateway Arch was nearing completion.
More than one hundred and fifty years after the laying of the first cornerstone, we continue the tradition of sharing the life of the Gospel with renewed enthusiasm.