St. Josaphat: Life in the West (1/3)


St. Josaphat is the Roman Basilica in Milwaukee, and is run by the Fransicans. It was built about a hundred years ago by Polish immigrants, so you will find lots of Polish in the building, and (not surprisingly), a great deal of affinity for the previous Pope, His Holiness John Paul II. Here is the photo set:

St. Josaphat pictures

Here are a few more pics:

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One of my friends and colleagues asked me which of these three buildings I liked the best. I’m not sure if “like” is the right word, but I was certainly the most comfortable in this space, out of the three. I understand it, for the most part. Although there are obviously elements that would make Lutherans nervous, for the most part there is a strong sense of a the holy, and of satisfaction for sin. There weren’t many Vatican II elements that were defining, which I appreciate. The pulpit was prominent, as was the font and the Altar. It was a beautiful, sacramental space. While some of the statuary can be distracting, for the most part it was worshipful, and I would be comfortable in the space.

From a practical point of view, it would also be easy to serve as presider or deacon in such a space. All of the elements are clear and obvious. There are no surprises or oddities to distract.

We didn’t have a formal tour here, although I’ve heard their tour before. They even had an organ! This is a welcome element, as man Roman spaces have lousy organs, or have jettisoned them for the twangs of the 60s and 70s. When we went in, there was a soloist practicing Gounod’s Ave Maria. How much more Roman can you get?

All in all, I like the space very much. I am a Western Christian, so even the elements which I don’t like (e.g. the overabundance of Marian statuary) is something I understand.


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