Friday, June 27, 2014

CreamCity: Timeless Old Saint Mary

Few churches in Milwaukee rival Old Saint Mary Parish in terms of beauty. Built in 1847, it is the oldest Catholic church in the city. Step inside and you’ll see why it’s such a treasure. Symbolizing heaven, the sanctuary shines in gold, as angels peer down from its walls. I love the ornate high altar and painting of the Annunciation. The ray of light emanating from the Father and the Holy Spirit, who is descending on the Virgin Mary, immediately draws one’s gaze to a focal point.
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4 comments:

  1. I like old churches; but a lot of these buildings are decorated with cheap wood high-altars and factory-made mass produced statuary (this is an example, much like Holy Redeemer in Madison). I enjoy them for what they are, because it's what the immigrant communities of that time had to offer, but I'm curious what people view as making them treasures? Their tenacity to build with the little they had, or the art of questionable quality? The former is certainly the more inspiring to me.

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    1. I see your point, but I think your comment also contains the answer to your question: "Their tenacity to build with the little they had..." They wanted to import the same high culture of beauty from the old world to the new. And statues from that era were not "factory-made mass-produced" works. Today, that may be the case. If you examine them closely, many are hand-carved from wood, and hand painted by artisans. I'm not sure either about the assertion regarding the "questionable quality" of the altars, etc. These immigrants knew fine craftsmanship and again, upon close examination, the details are exquisite.

      So, are these churches built from marble? No. Do they represent the best of what "the immigrant communities at that time had to offer"? Yes. And that their gift to their children and their children's children, i.e., us.

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  2. What's the music like?

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    1. OSM is my parish and my son is a cantor there. Of course I'm biased, but I'd say the music is wonderful and greatly enhances our prayers! Last Good Friday was amazing-the best I ever heard! They are currently trying to put together a strings ensemble.

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