July 22, 2014

Venerable Samuel Mazzuchelli Field Trip

 Samuel Mazzuchelli was born in Milan, Italy November 4, 1806 when he was only 17 years old he received the Dominican habit and made his Solemn profession. He was constituted a missionary in North America and traveled from Italy to the United States from October 5 - December 1, 1828.  He was ordained a priest by Bishop Fenwick in Cicinnati on September 5, 1830.  He next went to Mackinaw Island and founded schools there and in Green Bay.  He began designing churches and started building in 1835. Hif irst church was St. Raphael in Dubuque and St. Michael in Galena.  He built a total of, I believe 36 churches in the course of his short life time. He was stricken with pneumonia on February 16, 1864 and died on February 23. His burial was March 1. On July 6, 1993 Pope John Paul II declared him "Venerable", which is a title in the Church for someone who lived a life of heroic virtue.
 Our (small) homeschooling group traveled to a few of the sites connected with Venerable Samuel Mazzuchelli.
 Our first stop was at St. Augustine Church, one of the churches built by Fr. Samuel, in New Diggings, an old lead mining town.
 The church was built in 1844 and still stands as it originally was. There is a public Mass there once a year.  There is still no electricity, bathrooms, heat or anything else so it was a very fascinating place to visit.


 This is the original altar designed and build by Fr. Mazzuchelli as well as the original pews.
 It might be noted that when these were built there was much natural suffering as there were no modern conveniences as we have today so plain boards to kneel and sit on were the norm.

 In the sacristy there was a confessional...
 ... with a window into Fr. Samuel's living quarters. He made himself available for confessions at every hour day or night.  His room was probably about 12x12 feet.
 The old wood heater.
 Of course, a picture of a choir loft, since such things fascinate me. There is still a very old organ up there!  The choir loft has one long log supporting the whole length!

 This is a photograph (of a photograph) of what the church looked like in its day, taken before it was fixed up... but not changed!
 A little friendly bat who made his home in one of the shutters of the windows.
 We were blessed to have our priest say a Traditional Latin Mass at this church!
 Sam and Frodo served.
 Our little group. Unfortunately many were unable to attend.
 Mr. George Burns of the Knights of Columbus graciously gave us a wonderful talk about the church and Fr. Samuel.
 Our priest entertaining us with snake charming!
 Our second stop was at St. Patrick's Church, also designed and built by Fr. Samuel.
 This is the rectory where Fr. Samuel died.

 This was the original altar at St. Patrick's but is now in the Sorrowful Mother chapel.
A little history. The first church Fr. Samuel built on this site in Benton was St. James but as the parish grew the original frame church became too small.  So in order not to disrupt the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, he built a larger stone church around St. James. In time, St. James was moved across the street as a school for girls while the larger church was then named St. Patrick's.
 Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli was greatly devoted to the Sorrowful Mother.

 St. Patrick's now has a 3 traditional altars!  It's  a very beautiful church!


 Outside an oversized load holding the base for a giant windmill was driving by... I couldn't resist a picture.
 The gravesite of Fr. Samuel is located behind St. Patrick's.
 Very Rev. Samueal Mazzuchelli O.P.
Born in Milan, Italy Nov. 4, 1806.
 Died in Benton, Wisconsin Feb. 23, 1864.  
Quam dilecta tabernacula tua, domin virtutum! Concupiscit, et deficit anima mea in atria Domini.
Translation Douay Rheims Psalm 83:2-3
How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of host!
My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.


 The rectory where Fr. Samuel died is now a museum on interesting artifacts.


 This is a picture of what St. Patrick's looked like prior to the addition of the 2 side altars.
 Old altar cards are so fascinating!


 This little stand/cabinet was made from the wood of Fr. Samuel's bed in which is died.



 Old confessional!
 Another old confessional... obviously before the days of comfort. I'm not sure what the spindles are from.
 A fancy chamber pot.

 Our next stop was at Sinsinawa Mound.  Fr. Samuel had founded the Dominican Order of nuns that still reside there today. Not very pretty.
 They had a large room full of relics.


 Some of the reliquaries were a bit odd.
 No joke, this is a reliquary. Those are relics dangling there.  The presentation isn't the best for all the relics but at least they have a place.
 This is a marble carving sent to Fr. Samuel by the famous Dominican preacher Lacordaire.


 This a painting of one of the sisters in full habit... back in the day.  The current nuns I could not tell were nuns except that perhaps they wore more polyester than the average person.  It was rather sad.
 One of the school desks designed by Fr. Samuel.
 Fr. Samuel had built a college for men which I was told was at Sinsinawa Mound so I was eager to see it.  I asked one of the nuns-not-in-habit where it was to which she replied that she didn't know what I was talking about and it must be somewhere else.  After a bit of research I learned that the same building is now the building in which the nuns live.
 In the museum at Sinsinawa Mound was this drawing. Can you guess what it is? I couldn't and still couldn't after I read what it was. It is the moment in which the Son of God became Man in the womb of the Blessed Mother.  This is yet another reminder of why we strive to give honor to Our Blessed Mother with beauty.  No offense to whomever drew this.
 When Fr. Samuel passed away this penance chain was found imbedded within his flesh about his waist.  Apparently living in early pioneer days in America wasn't penance enough!
 One of the tabernacles he had designed. I must be missing something as I couldn't figure out how it would be opened with the pillars. But I'm kind of slow.

 This was Fr. Samuel's chalice and paten. It is taken out once a year or so for the celebration of Mass.

 He had written a letter to President Andrew Jackson.

 This was a neat diorama (I think that is what it is called). There are all little scenes from his life, like little doll houses.

 On our way home we briefly stopped at Dickeyville. You can read about it HERE.