The church is in the Romanesque Revival
style, designed by an unidentified architect, and
was built of native limestone cut and hauled from
nearby Monte Sano mountain by mule cart and wagon.
(See our early
history for more about the construction.) To
see how these architectural terms apply to our
church, click here.
structure is characterized by the steep gabled
roof and two hexagonal stone towers. The towers
originally were topped by tall, slender wooden
spires which were replaced early in this century
by the short, stubby ones still in place. The base
of the north tower is about six feet higher than
the south tower to house the bell.
The main entrance originally featured three
sets of tall double doors and narrow entry steps.
The present doors and wide cement steps were put
into place in the 1960s. Pilasters
that extend above the roof about five feet with a
low, sloped, gabled-topped wall between the
pilasters flank the entry.
All windows are round-arched in the Romanesque
style with side-by-side windows paired within a
larger stone arch. Arches are set out from the
wall with imposts, and keystones
set out still more. A projecting stone beltcourse
occurs about midway up the front wall. Simple cornices
top the walls, except for the apse.
interior of the church is noted for the barrel
vault over the center aisle of the
three-aisle nave and the unusual capitals
of the columns. An apse, or half dome over a half
cylinder, frames the altar, and is separated from
the nave by an arch and flanking pilasters.
The richly carved altar is of white Italian
marble and was installed in 1892. The original
unit was reconfigured in 1972 when the altar
proper was separated from the reredos
(at the back of the sanctuary) and brought forward
to enable the priest to face the congregation as
proscribed by Vatican II. During
the renovations in 2000, the sanctuary carpeting
was replaced with hardwood flooring.
A marble ambo (lectern) on the
left and the presider's chair and baptismal font
on the right were added to complement the marble
reredos and altar.
Flanking the altar on the right is a statue of
the Virgin Mary, our patron saint. On the left is
a statue of St. Joseph and the child Jesus.
Over the entrance, in the choir loft, is the
pipe organ. The manual organ has 17 ranks and more
than 900 pipes made of various alloy of tin and
lead, with the largest pipes of mahogany. The
three-ton instrument, installed in 1987, was
designed in Ireland.
Along the walls between the
stained glass windows are 14 large statues that
represent the Way
of the Cross.