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Constructed in 1869, St Francis Borgia Catholic Church is a historic church that is home to a congregation founded in 1834 by German immigrants. It was built with red brick and combines elements of Federal, Neoclassical, and early Romanesque architectural styles. Notable features of the church include stained glass windows, a tall steeple, and arched windows. The building is the third church built for the congregation; the first was erected in 1838 and the second in 1846. In addition to the church building, the site also includes a rectory built in 1883, a school built in 1884 that was converted to a hall, and a convent built in 1891. The church is a contributing property of the Downtown Washington Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  • St. Borgia Catholic Church was built in 1869.

The first members of the church were twelve German families, who arrived in what would become the town of Washington in 1833. The church and congregation were administered by the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus) and continued to do so until 1894 when the Franciscans took over. Catholic schooling began in 1856. A few years later in 1859, the School Sisters of Notre Dame started to teach at the school; they would remain there 150 years. By the time the Franciscans arrived, the rectory, school building, and convent had been built. A high school opened in 1933 and operated until 1982 when it moved to another building of the parish campus. Today, priests from the St. Louis Diocese run the parish.

"Our Parish History." St. Borgia Catholic Church. Accessed June 16, 2019. https://borgiaparish.org/our-parish-history.

Stiritz, Mary. "Downtown Washington Historic District." National Parks Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. October 5, 1989. https://dnr.mo.gov/shpo/nps-nr/89001465.pdf.

Photo: St. Borgia Catholic Church