This qualifies more as an “Around Wisconsin” post, as opposed to our usual “Around Milwaukee” fare. It’s good to broaden one’s horizons a bit. (But hey, we’re not leaving Wisconsin!) Men’s Journal recently featured an intriguing article on Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin. After reading it, I’m sold. A visit is officially on my “to do” list. An interesting Cream City Catholic side note: Madeline Island is home to Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, which is the oldest  continuous Catholic parish in Wisconsin. French Jesuits brought the Faith there in the early 1800s.

In light of these revelations, I’ll have to pencil in some intense, Cream City Catholic on-site reporting from one of the many beaches that line the shore.

Here’s an excerpt from the Men’s Journal piece:

When people imagine an island getaway, they default to images of the azure waters and white sand beaches that constitute the geography of Corona commercials. That makes sense come February, when sun-starvation has taken hold, but many of the best havens to visit in the fall lie far north (or south) of the equator. The prime example of this fact: A 14-by-3-mile slice of the north woods floating two miles off Wisconsin’s northern tip in mighty Lake Superior. Madeline Island, a former French fur-trading outpost turned vacation destination turned outdoorsman’s getaway, offers summer thrills even after the flannel comes out.

Hmmm…Probably should hold off until summer.


A considerate reader sent the following correction on the history of the Catholic Church in the Apostle Islands. I appreciate the insights.

I wanted to comment on a small detail of your post, however.  You mention here that Jesuit missionaries brought the Faith to the region of the Apostle Islands in the early 1800s.  Actually, it occurred much earlier.  
In 1660, Fr. Rene Menard, S.J., hoped to establish a mission here and may have passed through this region before his somewhat mysterious death in 1661, which probably occurred in today’s Taylor County.  In 1665, however, a Jesuit mission, La Pointe du Saint Esprit, was established on Chequamegon Bay by Fr. Claude Allouez, S.J.; the whole region around the Bay being referred to at that time as “La Pointe” before the term was restricted to the town on Madeleine Island.  The more famous Fr. Jacques Marquette, S.J., also spent time laboring at this mission.