Thursday, January 9, 2014

Two Basilicas in One Day, Part 2 - St. Josaphat

The second basilica visit on this day was nearly as hectic as the first.  By the time I arrived at St. Josaphat, it was already dark, after the vigil mass.  Fortunately, the Basilica was hosting a concert that evening, so I was able to catch some photos with the evening lighting.

Altar of the Annunciation, with the advent wreath, votive candles, and the umbrellino all nearby.

Detail of the altar, featuring the Black Madonna and Child.  The Black Madonna, often referred to as Our Lady of Czestochowa, is the patroness of Poland.  The neighborhood of the Basilica began as a large Polish immigrant stronghold, starting many parishes in south Milwaukee.  To this day, Polish-American traditions still hold sway around the south side of the Milwaukee metro area, including at the Basilica.

A side altar, originating from the previous St. Josaphat's parish church from the 19th century.  With the altar's center devoted to Our Lady of the Rosary, we also see Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Milwaukee's prominent south-siders are newer immigrants and their descendants from Mexico.  Their presence around the south side of Milwaukee makes for one of the most culturally vibrant parts of Wisconsin.  Their devotion to Catholicism is also vital to keeping many of Milwaukee's parishes open after the departure of other ethnic groups. 

Detail of St. Joseph and the Christ Child, from a matching side altar.

The Annual Helping Tree.

Many of these anecdotes come from The Basilica of St. Josaphat, a book produced by the Basilica in 2002.  It is a rich guide on the history of the community, architecture, and decor of the Basilica.

The Basilica of St. Josaphat
2333 S. 6th St.  Milwaukee, WI 53215

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Two Basilicas in One Day, Part 1 - Holy Hill

To tour both of Wisconsin's basilicas while Christmas shopping is no mean feat.  They are simply too nice to sprint through!  Alas, here are a few photos from the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

Holy Hill's namesake comes from its position in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine region.  Holy Hill is southeast Wisconsin's highest point.  On a clear day, a visitor near the main entrance to the basilica can see the skyscrapers of downtown Milwaukee, 25 miles away.

The altar, cloaked in purple for the advent season.  These photos were taken on the vigil of the second Sunday of Advent.  On the high altar there are reredos of eight doctors of the Catholic Church.  To the right of the altar is an umbrellino, Latin for umbrella, which is a customary icon in basilicas.

A lectern and the advent wreath sit in front of a mosaic of St. John of the Cross.  St. John of the Cross (1542 -1591), co-founded the order of Discalced Carmelites, the religious order who operate Holy Hill. 

Stained glass window depicting the Annunciation.

Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill
1525 Carmel Road  Hubertus, WI 53033