This week marked 130 years since two landmarks of the Nashotah House community were dedicated to the Lord’s service. Those landmarks are the stone preaching cross and Michael the Bell, who rings out the Angelus for us thrice daily. For 130 years these staples of Nashotah House have stood tall, endured countless harsh Wisconsin winters, and lived as powerful symbols for the Gospel work of the House. The preaching cross was erected outside of the cloister at the former site of St. Sylvanus (red chapel) as a marker of the place where Nashotah’s founders — missionaries to the 19th century western frontier — preached the Gospel, Baptized, and celebrated Holy Eucharist for the people of rural southeast Wisconsin. Michael the Bell — whose structure was recently rebuilt — towers as a symbol of Nashotah House’s commitment to daily prayer and worship. Michael’s thunderous peal ignites the worship of students and faculty every day at 8:00am and 4:30pm, and can be heard throughout the surrounding village of Nashotah.
In honor of these Nashotah House milestones, a re-dedication service was held after Evensong Monday, the feast day of St. Michael and All Angels. The community processed from St. Mary’s chapel, down the cloister, and out to the cross, then finally to Michael. Bishop Salmon, our Dean, led us in prayer at each site and blessed the cross and bell with holy water, recalling their significance and use in calling the community to worship. Having everyone gathered for prayer around Michael, under a large maple tree full of autumnal orange was a beautiful site, a picture of what Nashotah House is all about: building up the body of Christ through community. And the best part? Everyone present got a turn to heave Michael’s rope and resound his gong. May that gong continue to sound for many years to come — to the glory of God and his Kingdom!
– Cameron MacMillan ’16