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Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows, Starkenburg, Missouri

Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows

Stain Glass Window

The Shrine was dedicated in 1910



Outdoor Altar

Painted Ceiling

Architectural Detail

White Marble Altar

Sign on Highway 94

View of Rolling Hills

The New Chapel
The Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows

As the number of pilgrims continued to mount, it soon became necessary to build a larger chapel.  Beginning in September of 1900, Father Hoehn published a monthly magazine entitled, Der Pilger (The Pilgrim).  It was written, half in English, and half in German.  Collections for the new chapel began in 1902.  Many of the pilgrims subscribed to the magazine, which related work in progress and plans for the Shrine.  Proceeds from the sale of Der Pilger had amounted to several thousands of dollars, and this represented the beginning of the fund drive. 

Blueprints for the new chapel were drawn by Professor Becker of Mainz, Germany, with Mr. John Walchshauser, an architect from St. Louis.  The new chapel was indeed a labor of love, a desire to build a monument fitting to honor Our Lady.  In 1906, the parishioners began to quarry stone for the chapel.  Soon large piles of stones were gathered from two quarries.  Many participated in the manual work, which was done mostly in the winter.  Supervising their efforts were John Schluess, Ben Koenig, John Pohlman, Henry F. Van Booven, Robert Elsenraat, and Frank Eikel.  Donating stone from their private quarries were William Bossman, August Daller, and Gerhard Koenig.  Mr. L. Van Beek and Mr. G. Overkamp donated rocks for the foundation from their hillsides.  The chapel was to be on the site of the original spot where August Mitsch had placed the White Lady.  The log chapel was moved on skids somewhat to the north of its present location.

During the spring the men of the area transported the material for the foundation to the site of the chapel.  On July 28, 1906, asking for God's blessing, Father Hoehn broke ground.  The site was then leveled, and excavation for the foundation begun.  The first stone was lowered on October 23 on the Feast of the Holy Redeemer, whom St. Paul called, "the beginning and cornerstone."  Prayers asking for blessing of the Almighty followed a procession to the small chapel.  

The foundation was completed by December 6, 1906, and during the remaining winter months " the good people busily quarried stones and hauled sand," wrote Father Hoehn.  Enthusiasm was so high that "many helped who otherwise did not do much and who had for years remained in the background."   The cornerstone was laid on May 24, 1907, the Feast of Mary Help of Christians, by the Very Reverend O.J. Hoog.  He blessed the stone and fitted it into its place on the northwest corner of the building.  

After the laying of the cornerstone, the work on the structure continued at a slow pace.  A great deal of technical work on the structure continued at a slow pace.  Much technical skill was required, yet there were no funds to hire trained men.  The few skilled men who cut and fitted the stone on the spot deserve credit for sticking to their job in spite of the meager wages.  Gallant workers included Bernard Scheppers and John Fork of Wardsville, Missouri; William Kolkmeyer, Henry Lammers, and Joseph Weible of Westphalia, Missouri; John Stemmer of St. Louis, Missouri; and, John A. Struttman, Walter Koenig, George Lohmann, and Adam Denner, of the parish.  The winter of 1908 was cruelly severe, yet "shortly before the Holy Christmas festival, the chapel was under roof.  Deo Gratias!" wrote Father Hoehn.

Two more years passed from the laying of the cornerstone to the dedication of the chapel.  Then, on July 16, 1910, on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a large copper cross measuring seven feet in length, "was fastened to the steeple of the chapel," wrote Father Hoehn with a triumphant air.  On the eve of the Feast of the Assumption, the statue of the Sorrowful Mother was transferred to the side altar, Her new home in the stone chapel.