I sometimes forget how old this place is.
Founded before Wisconsin was even a state… well over 150 years ago. And here I am, walking across these grounds that saints have trod. I am reminded most of this permeating antiquity when I go to the Red Chapel or the Blue House and when I work at the library.
The library has on its walls a plethora of pictures from way-back-when to spark the imagination. I love the pictures of a horse and wagon in front of the cloister or James Lloyd Breck sitting with members of the original Wisconsin natives.
But more than these pictures that adorn the walls I (being staff here) am constantly stumbling upon relics of years past – Bishop Edward Randolph Wells’ crozier [or Bishop’s staff] he was consecrated bishop of Wisconsin in 1874. A small seemingly insignificant walking-stick leans next to it which was used by Archbishop Ramsey when he walked in the woods around the House. As well as an old saddle bag in the upstairs storage closet and countless old pictures of past students filed away.
And as if to add to the inherent old-ness here we have these incredible copies of illuminated manuscripts in the archive room the oldest of which dates back to the 1400s. And I recently found this picture/painting/print of Thomas Aquinas in a back corner so I put it out by the stairs for all to see. (can’t hurt to have good ‘ol Thomas watching over the seminarians. – and I suppose I’m biased as he is my one of my favorite theologians).
And then there are some things that are just timeless. Like the sunset over Upper Nashotah Lake just walking distance from my afternoon job. I wonder if God granted those like James Lloyd Breck sights like this to strengthen their soul in their mission.
Untill nextime –