In 1907 Archbishop John J. Glennon realized the importance of forming a new parish to accommodate the needs of the people of St. Louis who numbered over 600,000 and were beginning to settle further from the city center. The dominant feature in the area was cemeteries, so the new parish was aptly named Our Lady of Sorrows. There were 77 families in the parish when it was formed. The boundaries were so vast that eventually six other parishes would be carved from her: St. John the Baptist, 1914; St. George, 1915; St. Mary Magdalen, 1919; St. Gabriel, 1934; St. Raphael, 1950; and Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1956. The center was to be in the area of Kingshighway and Gravois. The task of starting this new parish fell to Reverend Bernard S.A. Stolte, a young priest who had been ordained in Rome just 11 years earlier. On October 20, 1907, Mass was celebrated for the first time. Since there were no actual parish buildngs yet, Mass was celebrated in the chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul cemetery on Gravois where they continued to be held until 1911.
September 8, 1908 marked the opening day of our parish school at 6838 Gravois in a double flat that was the parish residence and the parish meeting place. The school was located on the first floor and Father Stolte's residence on the second. Over a half dozen nationalitites were represented among the 51 children who had come from 20 different schools in grades 1-5. Their teachers were two School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sister Mary Regis and Sister Mary Peregrina. In 1909, SIster M. Delphina joined their faculty.
In April 1909, the present site of slightly more than three acres was purchased through a straw party for $5,500. Father Stolte repurchased the land for $5,501. In March 1911, work began on a combination building which would accommodate a basement entertainment hall, a first floor consisting of the pastor's residence in the front portion and four classrooms in the rear. The church would be on the second floor. By now 130 families were members of the parish. On September 4, 1911, 250 children were enrolled in the new school. June 23, 1912, marked the first graduation class - four girls and one boy.
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