Address: 4900 Montview Blvd., Denver, CO 80207
An architectural treasure filled with sacred beauty sits in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver. The Most Blessed Sacrament Church was designed during the 1920’s and was originally intended to be a $250,000 cathedral-sized center of activity in the prestigious neighborhood east of City Park. The challenges of the Great Depression resulted in a scaling back of the project, but still the Gothic Revival structure remains as a distinctive architectural monument with magnificent, story-telling stained glass windows filling the ashlar limestone walls. The church is focused on the Blessed Sacrament housed in a veiled tabernacle within a sanctuary backed by a stained glass window illustrating Jesus’ presenting the Sacrament in the form of bread and wine. The original design of the twin-towered church by Denver architect Harry James Manning was revamped to a less-costly structure by his associate, William E. Andress and was dedicated on September 15, 1935. The beautiful church serves the parish and is host to an elementary school and high school.
Special things to see in the Church
• Stained glass windows fill the church; and unique designs of the Franz Mayer Studios of Munich adorn the nave walls. Each lancet window incorporates four scenes illustrating the theme of the window – with descriptive labels below. Many of the windows feature an aspect related to the Blessed Sacrament including a window of St. Tarcisius, a 12-year-old boy martyred in Rome while protecting the Holy Eucharist. Some of the other particularly special windows are highlighted below and should be noted on a visit to the church.
• The window of the Eucharist (west wall) shows: St. John giving Holy Communion to the Blessed Mother; The First Holy Communion of St. Therese; Pope Pius X promulgating the law of Holy Communion to children; and St. Thomas Acquinas writing the famous hymn to the Blessed Sacrament (St. Thomas is known to have written five hymns about the Holy Eucharist: Adoro Te Devote; Pange Lingu; Lauda Sion; Sacris Solemniis; and Verbum Supernum.)
• A window of Christ (west wall) illustrates both well-known, and lesser-known attributes of the Savior: Christ the Consoler; Christ the Teacher; Christ the Good Shepherd; and Christ the King.
• On the back wall of the sanctuary are illuminated stained glass windows of: Jesus and the Holy Eucharist; St. Clare of Assisi; St. Agnes the Martyr; St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Joan of Arc. These windows were relocated to the sanctuary from the back of church. Notice that the background designs of the fleurs-de-lis, etc. match those found in the vestibule windows of the four Gospel Evangelists.
• Another prominent stained-glass-maker, Conrad Schmitt Studios of New Berlin, Wisconsin, designed the stained glass windows in the confessional area.
• Intricately-carved, life-size statues of Christ the King and St. Peter can be found on the exterior of the building.
Interesting Facts About the Church
The predecessor (original) church of the parish was built in 1913 under the direction of the first pastor Fr. J. Frederick McDonough (later elevated to Monsignor). The Neoclassical design building looks almost cubical with pilasters topped by Corinthian capitals and a decorative cornice below the flat roof. The building is still in use by the Blessed Sacrament School and can be seen nearby. In addition, the marble baptismal font at front of the sanctuary is dedicated to Msgr. McDonough.