Yes, for the first time ever, on Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 10 a.m., the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity participated 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.
Unique 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.
The 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.