St. Francis De Sales Seminary High School
Art on the move
Cousins Center artifacts, statues given homes in parishes

By Karen Mahoney

Copyright Catholic Herald Citizen 2007

ST. FRANCIS - While the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center remains on the market, parishes and schools throughout the Milwaukee Archdiocese have already welcomed artifacts from the center to their new homes.

Dean Daniels, archdiocesan director of prayer and worship, has the task of gifting the myriad of art, sculptures, and sacramentals before the center is sold. When the decision to sell the center was finalized, a catalog containing descriptions and photographs of items went to each parish. Pastors interested in receiving items from the center were invited to request them in writing.

"They were told the items would be available on a first come, first served basis," Daniels explained. "And this is how we gifted everything, except for certain items that would appeal to the patrons of the various churches. For example, a statue of St. John Vianney went to St. John Vianney in Brookfield."

Those who have attended Mass and prayer services in Mater Christi (Mother of Christ) Chapel might notice candlesticks that used to adorn the altars on a number of parish altars.

Additionally, more than 50 crucifixes from the retreat rooms and classrooms in the center went to pastors during the annual Fall Priests' Day.

"They came in and took a number of those to bring home to their parishes," said Daniels. "We also had two monstrances used for exposition and adoration, and one was given to the cathedral and one to Cristo Rey Parish in Racine."

St. Louis Parish, Caledonia, received the Blessed Mother statue that watched over visitors in the courtyard of the center. A crest of Pope John XXIII, formerly located outside the chapel, will reside at St. John Neumann, Waukesha.

Parishes were not billed for any of the artifacts, but they were required to move larger items at their own expense. If they wished, they could offer a donation, said Daniels, but if parishes were not in a position to donate, they did not need to.

The school courtyard at Holy Apostles Parish, New Berlin, is home to a statue of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom. The statue, which depicts Mary with the Child Jesus in her arms and a scroll in her hand, previously stood near the main entrance of the Cousins Center.

Fr. David Filut, pastor of Holy Apostles, requested the statue as he considers her to be an inspiration to students.

"The statue is near the hallway window so it will be clearly visible to the students who pass by on their way to class," he said in a recent parish bulletin. "Hopefully, the statue will be a source of inspiration as we ask Mary to intercede for us to become people not only of learning, but also of wisdom."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Waterford, received a bronze statue of St. Thomas Aquinas for the parish; a statue of Mary and the teenage Jesus from the chapel has a home at Holy Family, Fond du Lac, Daniels said.

"The large statue of St. Francis de Sales, which is the patron of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, now resides at St. John Cathedral downtown," he said. "And we had outdoor Stations of the Cross in the St. Joseph Courtyard outside of the cafeteria that also went to the Cathedral. Interestingly enough, they had the perfect number of trees for each of the stations."

According to Scott Fischer, maintenance director of the Cathedral, the statue will get a new base, and will be installed inside the cathedral.

"We also have received another statue of Mary, and she will be placed outside in our prayer garden," he said.

Other accoutrements that have moved are a portable baptismal font that was relocated to St. Luke, Brookfield, and a set of patron saint mosaics created in Calamara, Ireland.

"Each of the patron saint mosaics went to the patron saints for that particular parish," said Daniels. "For example, St. William in Waukesha received St. William the Abbot, and the church placed this mosaic in a very prominent location. Each of these went to parishes, except for St. Pius, which went to Pius High School."

Enthusiasm for the gifts has been high among parishes, Daniels said, adding that each item is in a good home and appreciated. "This has been interesting for me," he said. "I have sat across tables of parishes that have consolidated or were going through renovations to create a new parish and I have seen what a painful experience it has been for them. Until this process, I have had no experience for doing this. But now, with having to give away artwork and the thought of moving to a new location and closing a building with my other colleagues, I have a new perspective on how difficult it is for parishes to move forward. But this is our faith - there is death and there is resurrection. And the resurrection is better than we can ever imagine."

Source: Catholic Herald Citizen, December 2007

"In 1963, workers installed the campanile that stood at the entrance of the soon-to-open De Sales Preparatory Seminary. The bells remained at the site, which became the Cousins Center in 1983, until they were removed last month and moved to Shepherd of the Hills Parish, Eden."

Translation of Gaudeamus Igitur
Old Pictures of DeSales
Current Pictures of DeSales
DeSales Docs
Factoids About De Sales

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