First Ever Eucharistic Celebration at Chiara Convent, Manitowoc, WI

by Sister Julie Ann on August 29, 2009

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Yes, for the first time ever, on Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 10 a.m., the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity img_6331.jpgparticipated in a solemn, yet humble Eucharistic Liturgy at Chiara Convent, Manitowoc, WI., new home for Franciscan Sisters serving at Silver Lake College. Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay, WI, consecrated a masterfully-carved altar and blessed an equally lovely  handcrafted ambo, both made from trees of St. Joseph’s Woods surrounding the recently completed house for the Sisters. The blessed tabernacle was also adorned on a matching wood-crafted shelf.

st-clare-web.jpgUnique to the entrance of this community residence is a tau and three knotted chord design, special Franciscan symbols of the Gospel life St. Francis and St. Clare desired to live. Outside a candle-holding Chiara with a Bible in hand, artistic creation of Sister Mariella Erdman, OSF,  is sandblasted into limestone panels set into stone masonry on the facade of the building. The feminine Franciscan saint is strikingly visible from quite a distance.  

img_6334.jpgThe reverently simple blessing of this Franciscan home was further enhanced with the presence of Dave Dolan Wallace, Martinson Architects Inc. Green Bay, WI and Dan Peters, Peter’s Construction Services, Inc. Manitowoc, WI, who worked with the Sisters through the construction phases of the project. All who gathered at the Eucharistic altar were later invited to join the Sisters who now live in Chiara Convent for a home-cooked meal in the new convent cafeteria.

14 thoughts on “First Ever Eucharistic Celebration at Chiara Convent, Manitowoc, WI”

  1. Peace and all good to the sisters living at Chiara convent.

    I am grateful for being able to share the consecration of the chapel vicariously though our blog page. Since St. Clare is the patron of television, I think she’s pleased that this joyful celebration can be viewed via contemporary technology.

  2. Sister Sharon Paul says:

    Congratulations on you ALL on the solemn Dedication of Chiara Convent, altar & ambo by Bishop Ricken on the Feast of the Martyrdom of John the Baptist. It is significant that the altar is carved from the trees of St. Joe’s Woods. Blessings on the CARVER–a masterful job! Also noteworthy is the entrance with the tau, 3 knotted chord design LEADS to the CHAPEL, the HOUSE of GOD, our lives pointing to GOD.
    How wonderful that some of the builders were able to attend this meaningful service: Dave Dolan Wallace & Don Peters: “Congratulations to you & your crews for a beautiful job well done. In the book of Haggai it says: “Give careful thought…Go up ito the mts. & bring down timber & build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.” That you have done. Thank you.
    On the day of the Dedication we Srs. at St. Mary’s West Point, NE remembered you in prayer.

  3. Sister Mary Bodwin says:

    The pictures of the dedication ceremony of the altar in Chiara Convent are so beautiful. May all the sisters living at Chiara enjoy many blessings and have a year of peace and joy.
    Sister Mary Bodwin

  4. Sister Natalie says:

    God bless the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity at Chiara Convent,the entire Community and all those responsible for the building of the structure! May the graces of the consecration of the Chapel overflow into the daily witness of Jesus as the center and focus of our life. With St. Francis we pray, “We adore You, Lord Jesus Christ, in all Your churches throughout the whole world and we bless You because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.”
    (The Testament, 1226, of St. Francis of Assisi)

  5. “Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks…” I’m sure that St.Francis and St.Clare are celebrating with the Sisters at Chiara Convent as they gather daily for prayer in their newly blessed chapel!

    Blessings and prayers for each of you, Sisters, as you share Jesus’s presence with all whom you serve at Silver Lake College and beyond!

  6. I was blessed to be in attendance at this historical Eucharistic sacrifice (the special significance given to the altar ‘prayed’ this profound truth).

    We are grateful for the sacrifices of others who masterfully created this house that feels like a portion of Assisi. Praise and bless our Lord for the work of the people of our local area.

  7. Sister Mary Ann Nugent says:

    The highlight of our Community Days this year was the solemn blessing of the Chiara Convent Chapel and the consecration of the beautifully crafted altar by Bishop Ricken. All of us privileged to be the first residents here at Chiara are grateful to the Community for providing us with us with an awesome place to gather for prayer.

  8. Sister Marcolette Madden says:

    I found the consecration of the Chiara Convent altar very moving; it was a first-time experience for me and strengthened my appreciation of the sacredness of our chapel as well as the gift of our Lord’s Presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

    Another feature of Chiara Convent that I really like is the abundance of LIGHT. We have two solariums; two sides of our spacious dining room are windows, and the stairwells have windows. Since Chiara means LIGHT, it seems especially fitting that the beautiful Clare designed by Sister Mariella (set in limestone in the facade of the building) mathces the theme of light throughout the building.

  9. Sister Rosangela Weiland says:

    Wonders never cease!! Living at beautiful Chiara convent in the woods is wonderful. Now that our chapel and altar have been consecrated in such a beautiful ceremony, it is even better. It now seems complete. How grateful we are to have Mass here. I feel a special closeness to all as we celebrate together.

  10. S Pat Sevcik says:

    The Lord, our God, is exalted at Chiara Convent in and trhough each of you Sisters who live there. How wonderful to have seen the beauty of your chapel and home! May you thrive and grow in your ministry at Silver Lake College and in all of your life in Community! God bless you!

  11. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    Truly beautiful, yet simple. Congratulations and enjoy the prayer space.

  12. Sr. Catherine Gilles says:

    How blessed we are! The consecration of the altar — such a beautiful, meaningful ceremony to begin our first academic year in Chiara! The beautiful home we now have! The Community Members who share it! The Community Members who from near or far wish us well in it!
    And lastly the modern technology that allows us to share this joy so freely! We do ask God to richly bless everyone who has in any particpated making this Franciscan home and joy come to reality.

  13. It is important to note that that altar and matching sanctuary furniture were designed by David Dolan Wallace and crafted by Frank Haese, Retro Cabinets, New Franken, WI. Four wooden candlesticks were carved by Richard Hartman of our Holy Family Convent ‘s maintenance staff.

  14. Carissa Marron says:

    It was beautiful to see those wonderful pictures of the first Eucharistic celebration Chiara Convent, Manitowoc, WI. Those that went to this great mass I’m sure that went home blessed.

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