ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A historic church in south St. Louis wins an online competition to be declared the Most Beautiful Catholic Church in America.

The website Art and Liturgy staged its own Church Madness contest – whittling the field from 64 churches to just two. St. Louis church, St. Francis de Sales, beat St. James in Louisville in the final hour of polling earlier this week.

St. Francis de Sales Oratory Rector, Canon Michael Weiner, says he’s grateful to all who voted for the church. He hopes this will help shine a light on all the restoration work going on there.

“St. Francis Sales church is certainly a very important church in St. Louis – a monument,” Weiner says. “It is a bit forgotten, because of the demographic changes in St. Louis.”

The church just received a new roof, but work needs to be done on the big church steeple. The steepe sways in the wind, but is not considered a danger to anyone.

The church opened in 1907 serving thousands of the German immigrants living in the area for decades. Between 600 and 1,000 people still attend the oratory’s two Latin masses on Sundays.

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