The Ignatian Family in St. Louis is invited to gather for a Mass celebrating the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and the close of the Ignatian Year.
The Mass will be held at the Shrine of St. Joseph, 1220 North 11th Street, St. Louis, at 11:00 a.m., on Sunday, July 31, 2022.
All members of the St. Louis Ignatian family – staff, faculty, alumni and friends of the Jesuit works of St. Louis – Saint Louis University, St. Louis University High School, De Smet Jesuit High School, Loyola Academy, White House Retreat, St. Francis Xavier College Church and St. Matthew’s Catholic Church – are invited.
The Ignatian Year was announced by Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus to be celebrated in the Jesuit works around the world. It began in May 20, 2021 on the 500th anniversary of the wounding of St. Ignatius at the battle of Pamplona. The year continued commemorating the 400th anniversary of the canonization of Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier, March 12, 1622. The Ignatian Year closes on the anniversary of St. Ignatius’ death (July 31, 1556) which is also the feast day of St. Ignatius.
The parish of St. Joseph was founded by the Jesuits of St. Louis to serve German-speaking Catholics in 1843. Jesuits continued to staff the parish until its administration was given over to the Archdiocese of St. Louis at the request of Cardinal Joseph Ritter in the 1950s. It was ultimately slated for demolition but was instead painstakingly restored by volunteers, The Friends of St. Joseph’s. The church is known today as the Shrine of St. Joseph because of a Vatican-confirmed miraculous healing through the intercession Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary of the 17th century who spent his life in and around Cartagena, Colombia working among and providing relief to enslaved Africans. St. Peter Claver was canonized in 1888.
Closing the Ignatian year at the Shrine of St. Joseph creates an opportunity to celebrate the life of the founder of the Society of Jesus, reflect upon the generosity of heart and spirit of St. Peter Clavier, and to visit one of the most historic and beautiful churches of the archdiocese. Docents will offer tours after the 11 a.m. mass. All are welcome!