Located across from O’Fallon Park in North St. Louis is Mount Grace Convent. Despite being located in a run down part of the city, the convent serves has a beacon hope to the faithful and as a link to early 20th Century St. Louis. The chapel is open to all who wish to visit from 5:30 in the morning to 6:25 pm. Mass is said daily at 7 am with an evening prayer and benediction at five pm daily and at four pm on Sundays. The closest hotel to the convent is the Days Inn Downtown St. Louis.
Mount Grace Convent’s history dates back to 1915. That year, Mother Mary Michael of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after founding several convents around the world and on in the U.S., decided to open a second convent in America. After a few years of looking for a suitable location, Mother Mary Michael approached Archbishop John Glennon of St. Louis in October of 1924 with her proposal. That same month, Archbishop Glennon wrote a letter of invitation to the Mother Superior of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters in Philadelphia. At the same time, a Mrs. Theresa Kulage oversaw the building of an adoration chapel for the sisters in North St. Louis. Building on the chapel and convent was completed in 1928 with the blessing taking place on June 7th of that year. That same day, perpetual adoration was started and has been kept up ever since. In 1958, a group called the Legion of One Thousand Men was formed with the pledge by members to make a weekly visit to the Blessed Sacrament. The legion was later expanded to include women and was renamed the Legion of 1000 Adorers. It is worth pointing out that the sisters who live at the convent are known as the “Pink Sisters” due to their rose colored habit that they wear.
Although the convent was founded in the 1920s, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters was founded in December of 1896 by St. Arnold Janssen, a diocesean priest and mathematics teacher. After opening convents around the world, the Pink Sisters opened their first U.S. convent in Philadelphia in the early part of the 20th Century, which would soon be followed by the location in St. Louis. Today, the Mount Grace Convent is part of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sister’s network of 22 convents and around 400 sisters world wide. On of the things that the sisters of the convent offer on their website is a place to submit prayers that one many have. Prayer requests can also be submitted in person and have a better chance of being said out loud. In the end, the Mount Grace Convent is a strong link to both St. Louis’s past and to the religious history of both the city and the nation. It is safe to say that this convent is a beacon of hope to those in North St. Louis.