Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chapel Visit

A couple of pictures I took during a visit

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured an overall great story about the Saint Joseph Chapel in the city. Hopefully it will generate more visitors to this special place.
To describe the chapel with words is as futile as describing a cloud. The way the light shoves through the stained glass. The carved angels and the perfect way their wings are set. The eyes of beautifully painted saints. The chapel's great volume coupled with its endless intricacies.

Better to look at the photographs, and better yet, to visit and see for yourself.

Better to see for yourself the 115 stained-glass windows, the largest collection of Austrian stained glass in the states, the Stations of the Cross carved from maple, the three altars carved from Italian Carrara marble (the chapel's marble also comes from Switzerland, France, Greece, Mexico and the United States), the fumed oak pews.

As you can see from the first image, the altar was moved way out in the sanctuary during the notorious era of church "renovations." But thankfully, it was done in a tasteful way, and the altar is still solid marble. The two gripes I have are that the pews in the main chapel have no kneelers (really odd) and secondly, the Communion rail was severely shortened. Other than that, this is an astonishing sanctuary that deserves far greater attention than it receives. I wrote a longer post on the chapel, featuring a number of photos, here.

With an eye to the future, I think it would be an excellent idea to give this chapel over to a younger, thriving religious order/society (imagine The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter), that would be able to fully actualize the chapel's great potential. The sad truth is that the current order of nuns overseeing the chapel is getting smaller and older.

It's time to write the next chapter of the chapel's story.

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