Joe Could Use a Lift

by Jeffrey Jensen Milwaukee — Joe Schubert could use a lift. Joe doesn’t necessarily need one, mind you, but he could certainly use one. And if Joe does receive that lift someday, the St. Josaphat Basilica family of parishioners will be the main beneficiary—and spiritually elevated themselves. “It’s 50 steps up…50 steps down. I basically […]

Who’s the Mounted Patrol Officer in Your Neighborhood?

By JEFFREY JENSEN Milwaukee — Officer John Pederson, amiable, 22-year veteran of the MPD Mounted Patrol, greeted the visitor to the new, posh MKE Urban Stables complex on E. Lincoln Avenue with a smile and a “Welcome to the ‘Barn’”. But notably, later, two hours into a most impressive guided tour of the immaculate 27,000-square-foot […]

Basilica Welcomes New Director of Sacred Music

by JEFFREY JENSEN “God is Good Y’all” … “Shalom Y’all” Folks, please extend a warm Wisconsin welcome (he’ll need one since he’s never had to endure one of our winters) to Texas native, Lee Gwozdz (pronounced “Gwoats”), the new Basilica of St. Josaphat Director of Sacred Music, a world-renowned musician and conductor with an impressive […]

Kenyan Friar to Lead Community Outreach for Basilica of St. Josaphat

by JEFFREY JENSEN Brother Ayub Mwenda, 41, Basilica of St. Josaphat Outreach Coordinator, playfully considers himself “new on this planet,” and “not so interesting”. But spend a few minutes with him and hear about the circuitous route he took before recently landing in Milwaukee, and about the various places around the globe he has called […]

Local Artist Hopes His Mural Will Inspire Lincoln Village

By JEFFREY JENSEN By any measure, to a casual observer Mauricio Ramirez’s colorful, timely and significant kaleidoscope of outdoor mosaics would be considered a step above…graffiti. But, in fact, for the affable 31-year-old visual artist Mauricio, a rising national presence in the art world, soccer lover and doting father of four-year-old son, Heath, he would […]

Story of Great-Grandfather’s Sacrifice for Basilica Brought to Light

Part Two, By JEFFREY JENSEN The eulogy, sadly, was a 100-year fog. “It’s amazing how information can get lost in less than a century,” said Two Rivers’ Nancy Barker as she looked up after referencing a large detailed map of Poland blanketing the café’s table and stacks of substantive paper documents piled next her coffee […]

Uncovering Family Mystery Reveals Piece of Basilica History

Part One, By JEFFREY JENSEN Just about noon two days before Christmas in 1896, and only a few months into what would become a five-year project building the future Basilica of St. Josaphat, a construction foreman, with seemingly no sense of empathy, was dispatched to find Mrs. Anton Kasprzyk and deliver a somber report. Upon […]

Craftsman Recalls Basilica’s Major Restoration of the ’90s

By JEFFREY JENSEN Professional glazier Jeff Lorenzen stroked the old faux-marble column almost absentmindedly with his left hand and gestured animatedly with his right as he arched his neck back in order to gaze straight up at the soaring grand interior of the Basilica of St. Josaphat dome … and he eagerly and happily reminisced. […]

Polish Flat Exhibit Opens at Basilica Visitor Center

Dr. Jill Lackey may well claim the title of “miniaturist” behind the design and construction of the new Polish Flat Exhibit, on display at the Basilica of St. Josaphat Visitor Center starting June 13th, but the term sure runs contrary to the massive research and detail required to put the historical, educational and artistic project […]