Story behind Saint Stanislaus (Gateway Theology School)?

Posted in the Overland Forum

wheaties10

Saint Louis, MO

#1 Sep 19, 2008
I recently heard that the Gateway theology school on Howdershell used to be a church and that the church owned the land from there to the river (where all of Riverwood Place and Estates is at). Underneath are tunnels (that are now not accessible) that they used to drag people they thought to be "possessed" and baptize them in the river. I've also heard that students studying there say the school itself is haunted. Does anyone know anything about this theology school? It alway has intrigued me for some reason.
History Buff

AOL

#2 Sep 19, 2008
Check out the St. Stanislaus Museum Society on Charbonier Road. They have a wonderful museum and can give you all the facts you are looking for.
Also, check with Historic Florissant in the Gittemeier House on Dunn Road. They are open every day, I believe. Very knowledgable.
orion

AOL

#3 Sep 19, 2008
St Stanislaus was formally a Jesuit seminary and father DeSmet was buried there.

It was the main Jesuit headquarters for the midwest and sent RC missionaries all over the western parts of the USA.

St Stanislaus is Stanislaus of Kostka who was a polish jesuit sent back into his home country to combat Lutheranism and Calvinism during the time of the counterreformation subsequent to the Council of Trent in the late 16th century.

Suprisingly Protestantism had made inroads into the szlachta [nobility and landowners] and Rome was quite desirious of keeping Poland in the RC fold.

Obviously SK was quite successful.

Please note that there is a whole section of florissant where the dtreets were named after Jesuit saints-Manresa, Campion [martyred by queen Elizabeth 1 of england] Loyola, Kostka, Bellarmine et al.

In the early 60s there was a proposal to move st louis university to the Jesuit property which would have put florissant on the map and given SLU a 900 plus acre campus.

Unfortunately for the inland empire father Reinert wanted to keep SLU an urban campus so they stayed in mid town.

SLU would have been a tremendous asset to us. Too bad and so sad!!

I've never heard about the hauntings and the tunnels. Neither would suprise me. It is sacred ground and who knows what imprints the "black friars" left behind. Perhaps spectral masses performed by ghostly figures are still being performed in the old chapel.
alittlelooney

AOL

#4 Sep 20, 2008
wheaties10 wrote:
I recently heard that the Gateway theology school on Howdershell used to be a church and that the church owned the land from there to the river (where all of Riverwood Place and Estates is at). Underneath are tunnels (that are now not accessible) that they used to drag people they thought to be "possessed" and baptize them in the river. I've also heard that students studying there say the school itself is haunted. Does anyone know anything about this theology school? It alway has intrigued me for some reason.
High Five Orion! Thanks for that great information! Learned something new today!
History Buff

AOL

#5 Sep 20, 2008
I do believe the tunnels are still there. I've heard they are more like caves. They used to be large enought to drive a truck into. The Jesuits made wine on the property for years and I think these tunnels were used for storage. When they began building all those big houses in the area I often wondered if one would someday drop into one of the tunnels that hadn't been filled in properly!
As far as hauntings go, there are stories associated with all the old houses and buildings in the area. Fun to think about, isn't it?
Since SLU did what they did to the little ancient cemetery, I wouldn't be surprised!
orion

AOL

#6 Sep 20, 2008
There was a big dispute between the archdiocese and the society of Jesus [jesuits]pertaining to the ownership of atifacts and historical items.

I think there was actually a court case but that it was finally resolved.

The wine making persisted until 1950.

The buildings today stand in mute but still powerful testimony to the catholic heritage of the area even if fundamentalist anglo-saxons are now the owners of record of the land.

The memory and presence, even if it is solely
spectral, of the jesuits and the faith they brought to the area cannot and will not be expunged from our sacred northren fatherland as long as there just one person to commerorate it.
John

United States

#7 Feb 21, 2012
I have tried to find info on this place. When I was a kid about 12 yoa my father had a friend who was the caretaker at the current collge. we were given a tour of the place including the network of tunnels under the campus. very erie left an impression on me.There were strange stories to go with it. Looked like a dungeon.
David

Saint Louis, MO

#8 Jun 16, 2013
Well my Church orginization owns Gateway Or Urshan as it is now...I have personally been to just about every place there on campus and have worked there over the summer...There are tunnels but alot of it is storage and stuff and blocked off and the white building in the back is very creepy...theres also a strange safe that hasnt been opened...
Resident

United States

#9 Jun 17, 2013
Not sure about all that. I did get to read a little about the St Stanislaus (spelling?) conservation area down the street. Turns out the Charbonier got its name from that bluff. Something about the French calling it that because if a coal seam that is/was visible from the river.
read this

Saint Louis, MO

#10 Jun 29, 2013
Here's a good article on St. Stanislaus:
http://nocostl.com/2009/11/st-stanislaus-muse...
hardhead

Hazelwood, MO

#11 Jun 29, 2013
That's stupid. I bet a stupid black guy wrote that
What is stupid

Florissant, MO

#12 Jul 1, 2013
hardhead wrote:
That's stupid. I bet a stupid black guy wrote that
The "tunnels" are there so the Jesuits could get to the wine storage areas.

There's nothing weird about the place the Jesuits had a huge vineyard and winery during prohibition they were the only place allowed to continue to make sacristy wine. They owned almost a thousand acres which included a rather large cemetery. There's also a Native American burial ground there which is why not all the bodies were relocated when the property was sold.

It's really a very interesting place and is on the national list of "haunted" places. If you are interested in such things you should visit he museum there.

BTW, do you ever have anything positive to state? Also, I have read several of your postings and I find it hard to believe you could call someone else stupid. Given the fact that you obviously are lacking in the area of being educated.
hardhead

Hazelwood, MO

#13 Jul 1, 2013
sorry, that was pretty mean of me to say. sorry.
Rick D

Saint Louis, MO

#14 Jul 1, 2013
The Jesuits maintained a semiary in Florissant for 175 years. It was called the St. Stanislaus Seminary. In the 1970's they sold it to the Gateway Theological Seminary, but retained ownership of the "Rock Building" and the cemetary where a number of prominent Jesuits, including Fr. DeSmet were buried.

The Rock Building was converted to a Museum of Jesuit Missions by Fr. Claude Heithaus and later run by Fr. William Faherty. The Museum included numerous artifacts including Fr. DeSmet's globes from the 1600's; Fr. Marquette's chalice and a chalice owned by Fr. Thomas Sherman (son of Gen. Sherman).

For many years, the Museum was maintained, not by the Jesuits, but by a private foundation set up by Fr. Heithaus' brother and a group of dedicated volunteers.

In 2002, Fr. Lawrence Biondi, in order to have artifacts for his museum on the SLU campus, convinced the Jesuits to sue the foundation to get the objects. The court found that the the Jesuits had not surrendered ownership of the items, even though they had not cared for them for over 25 years and ordered them turned over. A much smaller St. Stanislaus museum, containing non-religious artifacts, still exists on Charbonier.

After the suit was concluded, the Jesuits turned over the "Rock Building" and the cemetary to Gateway. The bodies of the Jesuits in the cemetary were dug up and moved to Calvary Cemetary.
TTU

Saint Louis, MO

#15 Jul 2, 2013
Rick D wrote:
Fr. Marquette's chalice and a chalice owned by Fr. Thomas Sherman (son of Gen. Sherman).
Wow, I find it hard to believe that Gen. Sherman could sire a son who would be a priest.
I wonder if he asked his son for absolution from his sins?
That's like Mao or Hitler or Stalin having a priest son.
What happened to this son priest?
I feel just the

Florissant, MO

#16 Jul 3, 2013
TTU wrote:
<quoted text>Wow, I find it hard to believe that Gen. Sherman could sire a son who would be a priest.
I wonder if he asked his son for absolution from his sins?
That's like Mao or Hitler or Stalin having a priest son.
What happened to this son priest?
opposite. Having encountered some rather unsavory persons within my own family, their children have matured into ethical, hardworking adults. I think if one wanted to research such families they would find a lot of the offspring and other related individuals went in the "other direction". Perhaps because the person felt he or she needed to make amends for their parent(s)/ancestors transgressions.

Of course the opposite can hold true as well. Just look at the children of some wealthy and/or famous persons. The Menendez brothers come to mind as well as several celebrities.

People are not controlled by their genes when it comes to morality. We all make our own decisions about such things.
Rick D

Saint Louis, MO

#18 Jul 3, 2013
Gen. Sherman was baptized a Catholic when he went to live with the Ewing family after his father's death. He ended up marrying one of the Ewing daughters, Ellen, and regularly attended mass up to the time of the Civil War. He also consented to all of his children being baptized and raised Catholic by their mother.

Thomas, was educated at Georgetown and received his law degree from Washington University before becoming a Jesuit. He was a teacher at St. Louis University and the University of Detroit. He was also a well known lecturer. Later, he was an Army chaplain in the Spanish American War.

Around 1911, he had what would now be described as a nervous breakdown and he left the Jesuit order until shortly before his death in New Orleans in 1933.

Comparing Gen. Sherman to Mao, Hitler or Stalin as TTU did is unfair to the man. His "March to the Sea" conformed with the standards of war at the time and was no different than what Sheridan did in the Shenandoah Valley and remember, in both cases, their actions were approved of by Gen. Grant and Pres. Lincoln. In fact, Sherman's concessions to Gen. Johnston, after his surrender following Lee's, were so generous that Sec. of War Stanton forced him to repudiate them.
ezilyamused

Saint Louis, MO

#19 Nov 20, 2013
I was a Student at Gateway College of Evangelism, Now Urshan College & Urshan Graduate School from (2003-2006) Some of the best years of my life! The tunnels are still there, most are blocked off for the safety of the students. Many of the outer ones were/are collapsing from many years of neglect. The ones that run from building to building are mostly still there being used for storage and what-not. It used to be a little tradition to take the freshman down there and scary them with the story of Monks who still wonder the tunnels. I may or may not have been a "Monk" :) It really is a beautiful Campus. Throughout the years the Missouri District United Pentecostal Church and now private owners have kept as much originality as possible. While updating with modern dorms, class rooms, cafeteria, offices/conference, library, & computer lab. It really is an amazing campus, and a wonderful experience. The chapel alone is worth a tour! A wonderful landmark to the city of Florissant, and a wonderful work of God for the United Pentecostal Church International.
Kelly

Saint Louis, MO

#20 Nov 22, 2013
Here's a good article on St Stanislaus: http://nocostl.com/2009/11/st-stanislaus-muse...

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