Resurrection is the main office for the South County cemeteries of Resurrection, Sts. Peter and Paul, Mt. Olive and St. Peter as well as St. Vincent and Ascension.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis established Resurrection Cemetery in October 1928, as New Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery. The original Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery that opened in 1864 on Gravois Road was full, and Archbishop John Glennon intended for the new cemetery to serve the many parishes without churchyards in south St. Louis, as Calvary Cemetery served those in north St. Louis. The first burial took place on November 15, 1929. In the mid to late 1940's its name was changed to Resurrection Cemetery.
Archbishop Peter Kenrick had established the Sts. Peter and Paul parish for German immigrants in 1849. The beautiful black and white stone church, dominating the skyline at Eighth and Allen, was the ninth Catholic Church in St. Louis and the third Catholic church to provide services in German. Its parishioners were buried in St. Vincent's Cemetery at Eighth and Park, until that cemetery filled up and was closed in 1864. The parish of Sts. Peter and Paul purchased land on either side of Gravois Road for a cemetery and the Archdiocese added to it from time to time until the cemetery reached from Gravois to Morganford, and from Loughborough to the River Des Peres.
In 1922 the City of St. Louis began proceedings to acquire cemetery land for the River Des Peres parkway and drainage project. Then in 1926 the City rezoned the undeveloped area of the cemetery between Rocky Branch Creek and Morganford as residential, thereby cutting the area of the cemetery in half, creating, once again, the need for a new cemetery to serve south St. Louis city and county.
In October 1927, Archbishop Glennon purchased a large tract of land on Watson Road in St. Louis county, adjacent to land that had been purchased for the St. Louis Roman Catholic Theological Seminary in 1912. On this combined acreage west of the River Des Peres, the Archdiocese then built Kenrick Theological Seminary, Cardinal Glennon College and laid out New Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery.
At first the office for both the new and old Sts. Peter and Paul Cemeteries was located at the old cemetery. In 1928 the office moved to a farmhouse that sat on the south side of Watson Road, just west of Mackenzie Road. In 1932 St. Louis County straightened Watson Road and build an underpass under Watson Road to provide access to Sections 4 through 10, which lay on the north side of Watson Road. In 1952 a new office was built near the underpass on the north side of Watson Road. Then in the 1980s the Catholic Archdiocese sold much of the land on the north side of Watson Road, including grounds of Kenrick Seminary and Sections 4 through 10 of the cemetery, for residential and commercial development, and the new two-story brick cemetery office was built near the cemetery entrance at Watson and Mackenzie Roads.
The first shrine, the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, was added in the late 1940's along the creek. In 1952 the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima was created and in 1958 the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, all composed of white marble. The Shrine of the Resurrection on the hill above the creek was added in 1962. Along with three tall redwood crosses, it features a statue of the risen Christ.
The small chapels were constructed in Section 43 in 1974. The Chapel of St. Louis the King of France with stained glass windows by Emil Frei and the Chapel of St. Vincent De Paul with stained glass windows from an old church provide beautiful settings for funeral services. Also in 1974 the Ravena Mosaic Company designed ten mosaic monuments containing illustrations from the Bible, which terrace the hillside between the two chapels.
In 1980 architect George Quick designed the Garden of Gethsemane Mausoleum, and Klaric Masonry and Porta Construction Company built it into the hillside above the creek. Quick then designed the Holy Family Abbey Mausoleum to mirror the mausoleum on San Michele island near Venice, Italy. It was built next to the Garden of Gethsemane Mausoleum and opened in 1982. This same construction team built the Resurrection Mausoleum in 1990, a large statue of Chi Rho by the Bevel Granite Company stands in its center.
The "Hand of God" fountain was created by Saunders Schulz in 1989 and highlights the cemetery office. Adjoining is the Divine Mercy mausoleum complex, the focal point being the unique, back lit Divine Mercy feature. This feature is "one-of-a-kind", designed and constructed in Arnold MO for the specifications of Monsignor Dennis Delaney, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries. The Divine Mercy mausoleum was opened in Spring 2014. Do call 314.792.7737 or email for more information.