CMAA 2016.6.20.1 Saint Louis, Missouri - Summer Colloquium

̏Magical Mystery Organ Tour˝

Jeff Wisniewski is the Director of Music at the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Jeff graciously arranged for a tour of three organs, prior to the CMAA Summer Colloquium (2016) in Saint Louis. We started in the morning at the Seminary with tea, coffee and a continental breakfast. Tour with us as we did on that fine morning ....

Chapel of St. Joseph

(most of this text is taken from the Seminary's handout on Chapel detail)

The Chapel of St. Joseph is the heart of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Structurally, the chapel has remained unaltered since the building was build in 1931. It employs a Romanesque style, with its long nave and apsidal sanctuary, reminiscent of many of the churches of early Rome. In the late 1990s, the chapel underwent a minor renovation, primarily in the sanctuary. Most recently, the chapel underwent a major renovation as part of an overall campus renovation. The renovation included a new altar and baldacchino, a new presider's chair and ambo, a new pipe organ, and a resurfaced ceiling. The altar was solemnly consecrated in May 2015.

In the summer of 2015, over 2,000 organ pieces made a cross-country journey from A.E. Schleuter Pipe Organ Company in Georgia to the seminary campus. Crews worked around the clock to assemble the new organ which contains 39 ranks and 2,156 pipes along with four divisions: Great, Swell, Choir, and Pedal, which is controlled by three keyboards and a pedal board. It has roughly double the resources of the original organ.

The ceiling has been resurfaced and decoratively painted to lift the mind and heart to heaven. It recalls the creation of the heavenly bodies in Genesis and the signs in the sky in Revelation. The same gold that is used in the ceiling's stars is found in the sanctuary apse. Thus, the light, symbolizing Christ, emanates from the sanctuary and fills the chapel.

The new baldacchino (or "ciborium") is built of more than four tons of quarter-sawn white oak. The upper structure is meant to recall Revelation 11, where the temple of God is seen in heaven. The temple, the place of encounter with God, is built above the altar of sacrifice, where we encounter God in the Eucharist.

Artist Will St. John painted "The Death of St. Joseph" on the front of the baldacchino. The image is incorporated here as a moment in which Jesus witnessed the glory of dying in God. Jesus, in his own death, imitates his earthly father Joseph. At the entrance to the chapel, this image, its inscription, and the Crucifix all fall in vertical alignment, linking these aspects together.

The altar of sacrifice was constructed of sedimentary stone to remind us that all of creation is part of praising God. The columns on the sides invoke the image of a table to remind us that we are fed from the altar, the table of the Lord. The front contains a mosaic of the sacrificial lamb. Relics of St. Benignus, Vincent of Saragossa, St. John Vianney, and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne are contained within the altar.

Statues of Mary and Joseph flank the sanctuary. Mary is depicted as she appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, giving her the Miraculous Medal and holding the world in her hands. Statues of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests, and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, co-patroness of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, can be found in the back of the chapel.

The stained glass windows are original to the chapel (1931). They were designed by the Emil Frei Glass Co., a St. Louis company that is still operating today. The central image in each window depicts the story of redemption. The upper circles represent the lives of the saints. The lower circles represent the history of the Catholic Church in the St. Louis area.

Morning Light enters the chapel.

Beams of light play with our vision of this beautiful and prayerful space. Where there is light, there are shadows.

Look at the light ... (click on any photo to browse the album)

Enter the gallery - the organ gallery.

  • Be closer to the organ
  • See the organ details
  • Play the organ

Be by the Rose window and enjoy the light.

Console Time (click on any photo to browse the album)
Did those big photos glide by too quickly? Click to view each individually.

Discover Kenrick-Glennon Seminary:

Onto our next destination - St. John Nepomuk Chapel

Host - Steve McMullen, Music Director

The Organ Gallery

Click on a photograph to browse
Explore the Nave, Sanctuary, and Baptistry


Explore some heritage - click on any photograph to browse the album.

Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France

Popularly known as the "Old Cathedral"

Let's Explore the Organ ....

What is in here ?

Thank You !

for permitting us to share this with you !

Group Photograph at "Old Cathedral" - CMAA "Magical Mystery Organ Tour"

The Church Music Association of America

Created By
Rene Zajner


Rene Zajner |

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