E cineribus resurgit! The restoration of a church that burned on Christmas Eve

Here is a great story.  A little church, St. Mary’s in Brussels, IL (Diocese of Springfield in Illinois) burned down on Christmas Eve a few years ago.  It just reopened.  The restoration looks wonderful.

Stories, with video, HERE and HERE

Here is a video.  Alas, in the story there is a lot of talk and little to see of the church’s interior other than glimpses.  Also, please forgive the wretched music in the video.  The parish priest is to be highly commended for the wonderful building project.  But… Gather Us In?  Blech.  I hope we will be able to commend him about a renewal of music!

Interesting story about the stained glass windows.

Use those links, above, to get to a video story about the rebuilding. The video starts automatically, so I won’t post it here, especially so that you won’t have to listen to “Gather Us In” each time you load a page here until it scrolls off.

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  1. John UK says:


    Gives some better views of the interior.

    Kind regards,

  2. APX says:

    Perhaps they need some new hymnals donated.

    It could have been worse, musicwise. It could have been Sing a New Church. Bleh!

  3. Mojoron says:

    I would rather go to confession everyday for a week, walking on my knees for three blocks than listen to “gather us in.”

  4. Peggy R says:

    Frei windows are very well regarded here in StL area. Our local (old German) parish has some as well, in the Belleville IL Diocese.

  5. jflare says:

    Hmm. Yes, the music program seems to be rather ..unfortunate. Seems to me they placed their funding in the visual beauty of the church, which certainly has it’s place. Now they need to invest a bunch more in the aural beauty. Imagine how Chant and various polyphonic composers would sound in there!
    (Vivaldi, Tallis, others….)

  6. jflare says:

    …And, of course, Palestrina!
    (I couldn’t think of his name until about 5 seconds AFTER I’d hit the “Post” button. Sheesh!)

  7. Restoring this church also helped restart the organ-making side of the Wicks Organ Company. Here’s a story about the company and creating a new organ for St. Mary’s in Brussels.


  8. APX says:


    If God willed that you listen to Gather us in and you did so because He willed it, you would gain more merit than choosing to go to confession everyday for a week, walking on your knees for three blocks.

  9. bookworm says:

    This restored church is absolutely beautiful… it’s so nice to see that they didn’t just start over again with some hideous modern monstrosity (as happened to a gorgeous old Gothic church in my old diocese that got destroyed by a tornado back in the early 80s). Nice to see that it helped a local business too.

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