Cathedral Tower History
Cathedral Tower, as we know it today, was built in 1936 by the Sisters of Mercy. This building served as a convent and rooming house for single women who were working and needed affordable housing. Due to the social stigma of unmarried women living independently, it also served as a safe place for women of the Catholic faith to reside.
Catholic Charities of St. Louis purchased during March of 1983. After seeing a need for particular services for adult women, Msgr. Robert Slattery, with the support of Catholic Charities of St. Louis, founded Queen of Peace Center.
About Our Founder
Msgr. Robert Slattery spent his career working for Catholic Charities of St. Louis. He worked for St. Vincent’s Orphanage, Child Center of Our Lady of Grace, and Cardinal Ritter Institute before becoming the Executive Director of Catholic Charities in 1981. During his tenure, St. Patrick Center, St. Martha’s Hall, and Queen of Peace Center were founded. Msgr. Robert Slattery is remembered as being a great fundraiser and advocate for the St. Louis community. He is survived by his loving family who continue to keep his mission and vision alive. His nephew, Jeff Buchek, is Queen of Peace Center’s Manager of Donor and Community Relations.
Queen of Peace Center History
Queen of Peace Center began serving the community in June of 1985 as an affiliate of Catholic Charities of St. Louis to support women recovering from substance use disorders. The primary diagnoses at the time were alcohol and cocaine. It opened with 17 beds for residential women and enough staff to count on your fingers. In the beginning, Queen of Peace Center was solely reliant on private funding.
In 1988, Queen of Peace Center served 100 women a year on a $700,000 budget. Today, we serve over 1,000 women a year on a budget of nearly $10,000,000.
The agency incorporated as a not-for-profit in December of 1991 and opened its CSTAR program. The CSTAR program expanded our funding and allowed us to expand our services, including a focus on pregnant women. This program was also crucial because it allowed children to receive services and live here with their mother. CSTAR helped us begin our family-centered model.
History of Our Executive Directors/Chief Executive Officers
Sr. Annette Pezold, C.C.V.I. (1985)
Jane Lee (1986-1988)
Constance (Connie) Neumann (1988-2011)
Lara Pennington (2012-2018)
Sharon Spruell (2018-present)