|Birth: ||Nov. 16, 1888|
St. Louis City
|Death: ||Jun. 19, 1962|
St. Louis City
Innovative German-American MIDWEST CATHOLIC PASTOR and BUILDER.
MSGR. GEORGE A. DREHER, son of Melchior and Elizabeth Dreher (German immigrants), was a notable St. Louis Roman Catholic priest who was the founder and builder of the architecturally acclaimed Resurrection of Our Lord Church at Meramec and Hydraulic streets in South St. Louis, MO.
The present new Resurrection of Our Lord Church building (second for the parish), is one of the first major modern Catholic churches to be erected in the U.S.A. designed with the specific architectural and artistic motifs which were adopted later by the Catholic Church derived from its Second Vatican Council, held 1961-64.
The present church has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places and the City Landmarks Registry, and won numerous architectural and liturgical art awards for its innovative design, construction and architectural decorations. It is considered a pioneering design for a parish church edifice in the worldwide Roman Catholic Church.
Msgr. George Dreher grew up in the English-speaking Jesuit St. Francis Xavier College Church Parish in St. Louis, and attended the Catholic seminary at Mundelein, Illinois (Chicago). Ordained in St. Louis on June 8, 1915, he served as a parish associate until being named founding pastor of Resurrection Church by then-Archbishop John J. Glennon. He was later named a Domestic Prelate (Monsignor) on June 4, 1957.
Noted for his financial and organizational acumen, Msgr. Dreher engaged architect Joseph Murphy (formerly the dean of the Washington University Architectural School) to design a church with artistic and architectural works reflecting the anticipation of a major conciliar event in the Catholic Church (which became Vatican II).
While the architectural design was initially controversial and disliked by many of the original parishioners, Murphy's design was visionary in that it anticipated many of the liturgical changes of the Second Vatican Council by being a departure from the ethnic Gothic and Romanesque styles highly popular in South St. Louis at that time among churches for its many Roman Catholic, Lutheran and other Christian faith communities.
Erected in 1952, Resurrection Church won many noted national architectural awards in the 1950's and 1960's, and much of the credit is due Msgr. Dreher's vision and Joseph Murphy's architectural skill. Thanks to Msgr. Dreher's financial acumen, the new church was paid off in only a few years.
The Emil Frei Art Glass Company designed and fabricated its modernistic stained glass windows and friezes; the Kaletta Statuary Company fabricated most of its plaster and stone statuary. (Both firms were headquartered in St. Louis).
Msgr. Dreher died on June 19, 1962, and after a Requiem Mass at Resurrection Church officiated by Joseph Cardinal Ritter of St. Louis, he was buried next to his parents and brothers, JAMES and JOHN DREHER, on the Dreher family lot at SS. Peter & Paul Cemetery.
Interestingly, he died during the midway point in the Second Vatican Council that his architectural tastes anticipated in the planning, design and construction of Resurrection of Our Lord Church, his memorial. Originally serving a second-generation German-American enclave, the present Resurrection Church now serves a thriving Vietnamese Catholic community.
Note: Early South Side Deanery German-American Priest, Archdiocese of St. Louis
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery (Old)
St. Louis City
Created by: Max S. Kaiser, Jr.
Record added: Jul 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38975853
Rest In Peace, Monsignor!|
Added: Nov. 15, 2012