(ST. LOUIS) The Dominican community at the new St. Dominic Priory, 3407 Lafayette Ave in St. Louis, is having a public open house on Sunday, April 22, from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. All are welcome to come and see.
The new priory serves as a joint formation community for the Dominican Provinces of St. Martin dePorres and St. Albert the Great, the Southern and Central Provinces of the Order of Preachers.
The Lafayette address was home to Loretto Academy a Catholic school serving children of immigrants in the St. Louis area, which moved there from its original site in 1909.Since the closing of Loretto Academy in 1952, the building has served as a day care center, a retirement community for Loretto sisters, and an apaprtment community serving women and children in poverty.Before groundbreaking on the new priory project in February 2011, the building had been vacant for a year.
Located at Interstate 44 at Grand Avenue, the priory buildgin is an eclectic blend of Tudor revival, characterized by the brickwork and the copper domes on each tower, and Colonial revival, characterized by the four white columns on a neo-classical portico. It includes 32,000 square feet of living space and additional 16,000 feet of chapel, corridors, and storage.
The renovated space accommodates 42 residents, serving the current 30 priesthood students and is designed for larger groups of men in the earlier stages of priestly preparation. The order has seen an increase in vocations; This fall, it welcomed 10 men, its largest class in more than 20 years. The student brothers living at the priory will pursue their formation studies at Aquinas Institute of Theology, a graduate school run by the Dominicans and situated near the campus of Saint Louis University.