Stone by stone

Imagine that there is one, ONE, medieval French chapel transported from the French countryside to North America to be used as . . . a medieval French chapel. Where would you expect it to be?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, right? Exactly what I was thinking. In fact, I was thinking it should be within a stone’s throw of Rt. 41 on the campus at Marquette University in central Milwaukee. And that is exactly where it is!

It is a stunningly simple and beautiful place re-built over a radiant-heat stone floor, so that even a Wisconsin winter won’t keep people away. Yet it was empty except for a caretaker on a sunny Saturday afternoon in March.

You open heavy dark wooden doors to enter directly into the small sanctuary facing a little altar. There are thirty or so chairs set up for services. (Catholic mass is held every Sunday except during the university summer break period.)

The chapel was moved stone by stone from France to first, Long Island where it remained attached for about forty years to a single-family residence as a private chapel. Then it was donated to Marquette and moved again stone by stone to Milwaukee.

NEXT POST: why it’s called the Joan of Arc Chapel


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