Back in 2015 during the Doors Open Milwaukee weekend, I visited the stunning Saint Francis Chapel near the lake. Afterward, I did a write-up on the visit.
At the time, I wrote:
It was sad, truth be told, to see how things are at the convent now, as opposed to its golden age,when it was full of young sisters and life. I don’t think I saw a sister today younger than 75 or 80. What is going to happen to this place in twenty, or even ten years?
Well, we didn’t have to wait ten years. Just four. The Journal-Sentinel is reporting that the historic convent will be demolished.
While it was originally going to be saved, the 1894 chapel near the newly constructed convent for the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi will be demolished.
The announcement was made Sept. 27 but no date has been set for the work to begin. . . .
Numerous artifacts will be salvaged from the structure which underwent various renovations in 1921, 2956-57, and 1966 according to the news release. Some of the notable items to be saved include the stained-glass windows from Austria installed in 1898 and two reliquaries which enshrine the relics of about 200 saints.
This is a travesty. How often is this being replicated across the nation? Sacred shrines and churches built by the devotion, sweat and labor of immigrants are scattered across old Catholic cities like Milwaukee, Saint Louis, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston and Pittsburg. At one time, they were filled with large families and booming religious orders eager to teach, evangelize and, above all, pray. Today, many resemble old museums, barely inhabited by orders that are quickly dying out. Many of these orders underwent periods of radical “reform” in the ’60s that witnessed the abandonment of their revered traditions and constitutions in favor of leftist political activism. It only took one or two generations and many are on the verge of extinction. It’s a disgrace. The priceless shrines built by their predecessors, one by one, will fade into oblivion.
Well, enjoy these photos I took since you won’t be able to see the real thing much longer. And if you would like to see the rest of the photos, click on the link above to the original article.