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SMV Ponderings

Located in the heart of Elm Grove, St. Mary’s Visitation School provides exceptional academics and faith formation for grades K3 through 8.

St. Mary's Visitation Students Tour Majestic Churches in Milwaukee

St. Mary 's Visitation Students Tour Majestic Churches in Milwaukee

St. Mary's Visitation fifth through eighth grade students toured three churches on October 18th to discover God's presence revealed through religious art and architecture.

  • St. Joseph's Chapel at the School Sisters of St. Francis Mother House
  • Gesu Church on the Marquette University campus
  • St. Joan of Arc Chapel, also on the Marquette University campus

At Gesu, the students learned about the Rose Window, shown in the photo below.  In each of the fourteen smaller round windows inside the Rose Window is a depiction of a saint, incluing St. Agnes, St. Gregory the Great and St. Helen.  Students also learned about the stained glass and statues throughout the church.

Reminiscent of the Cathedral of Chartres in France, with its rose window and towering spires, The Church of Gesu is pure Gothic in design.  Gesu is the Italian name for Jesus and is also the name of the mother church of the Jesuits in Rome where the Jesuit founder, St. Ignatius, is buried.  The Church of the Gesu was completed and dedicated on December 16, 1894.

Fifth Grade Students at Gesu

Stained Glass at Gesu

At the St. Joan of Arc Chapel, students learned of the great history of this chapel which dates back to the 15th century.  Stone by stone, the chapel was dismantled and shipped from the little French village of Chasse and brought to Long Island in 1927.  The chapel was again moved to its final location on the Marquette University campus in 1964.  The history tells of how Joan of Arc (1412-1431) prayed before a statue of Our Lady standing on a stone and at the end of her petition, she kissed the stone which ever since has been colder than the stones surrounding it.  Joan is remembered for her bravery in leading the French army to several victories during the Hundred Years War.  She was burned at the stake for heresy at age 19.

Eighth Grade at the St. Joan of Arc Chapel

St. Joan of Arc Statue inside the Chapel

Thank  you to our religion teacher for fifth through eighth grades, Mr. Newman for arranging this tour of Milwaukee's architecturally and historically significant churches.

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