Milwaukee Challenge #1: Read my way through Milwaukee's Public Libraries
I mentioned part of this challenge here, when I signed up to do the Support Your Local Library online challenge. The challenge is rather simple in that I just have to read 12 books (one a month) from the Milwaukee Public Library.
I decided to add my own "Milwaukee Challenge" twist to that, and vow to visit each location of the library system and pick one of the librarian's choice books there. Conveniently there are 13 locations, but since I visit the Central Library all the time, I will focus on the 12 satellites.
Milwaukee Challenge #2: Ride my way through the Milwaukee County Transit System
Speaking of visiting new parts of town, I will definitely be using the bus to get to the libraries above. I actually am challenging myself to get the most out of my employee pass and ride each of the nearly 30 regular routes in the system round-trip next year. Not only will this help me do my day job better, but it will allow me to explore many parts of the County I don't regularly visit.
I may also hop off the bus at landmarks along the way to give the blog posts some extra flavor, so if you have some tips on unique spots on Milwaukee's various bus lines, leave them in the comments.
Milwaukee Challenge #3: Pray my way through the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
For quite awhile I've toyed with the idea of starting some sort of Church blog, as I definitely enjoy visiting historic churches and places of worship in my domestic and world travels. One of the cool things about Milwaukee is that there are several unique churches of all faiths here and many associated with a particular ethnic tradition.
It would be impossible for me to hit all the churches in the city in a year, even at the rate of one a week. It would also be foolish of me to commit to going to Mass once a week, as I know myself too well.
I do however, think it realistic, to commit to a "church blog" twice a month. So, 24 churches next year. I'm going to start with what I know -- Catholicism, but I'm always willing to check out other traditions (keyword being "tradition" -- no "Christian New Wave" for me, thank you, I can respect you (well provided you truly are "Christ-like" in your teachings), but I'm just not interested) as bonus blogs. As you've probably also guessed from this blog, I'm a very liberal person and there are certainly opinions of the Catholic Church that I disagree with. I am a self-described "Cafeteria Catholic" and that viewpoint should be taken into account as I describe the services. I'll also focus on the art and architecture of the church as well. I'm also going to stick to the City of Milwaukee, with one exception, to keep things simple.
What churches will I be hitting up? I'll cross the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist off my list, as I just gave a description of that, and it is just a hop away. I should make some effort!
- Old Saint Mary Parish is just up the street from me and one of the oldest churches in town. I also just saw on there website that one of my favorite priests, Fr. Tim, who also presides at the Three Holy Women parish is assigned there as well.
- Speaking of Three Holy Women, I will add that to my list as well. I'll probably try to blog about St. Hedwig, as it's a predominant landmark on Milwaukee's popular Brady Street. It's also the parish I used to attend when I lived over on the East Side.
- No Milwaukee Church tour would be complete without the Basilica of St. Josaphat. I'm ashamed to even admit I've never been in here, as it was the third minor basilica designated in the U.S.
- St. Stanislaus has always intrigued me because of it's unique architecture and the fact that it's perched right over I-94. Now I'm even more intrigued because the Sunday masses there are held in Latin!
- St. Joan of Arc Chapel at my alma mater Marquette is another unique to Milwaukee place of worship that I couldn't possibly leave off this list.
- St. Benedict the Moor is another Milwaukee church with an interesting history. It was founded in 1908 to serve Milwaukee's African American population.
- Many of my friends who live on the west side of town attend St. Sebastian church in Washington Heights. Sometimes you need a little help from your friends to complete these types of challenges.
- I happened upon St. Michael parish while canvassing on election eve and was struck by its imposing beauty. My co-worker used to be a member of the parish and told me it's gorgeous inside. Not in the best of neighborhoods, but it's going on the list. It also has a Hmong service, which might be interesting to witness.
- Ss. Peter & Paul has some very fascinating architectural features I'd like to write about. I've been to this Eastside church before, but will probably swing through again for the challenge.
- St. Adalbert on the Southside is a former Polish church that now has primarily Spanish masses.
- In browsing the listing of churches out there, I came across St. Catherine of Alexandria, a historic church in the far northwest corner of the city. This is a part of town which I'm quite unfamiliar with, so I may as well add it to the list. I may hit this one up after the bike racks go on the buses!
- I bike by St. Francis of Assisi sometimes on my way home from work and am interested to see that they have mass with gospel music and one with Spanish folk music. Which to hit up?!
- St. Hyancinth has a great name, a history, and Misa en Español.
- Immaculate Conception is in the heart of Bay View, so it'll be interesting to check out where those in that cult worship
- St. Martin de Porres is another African American Catholic church, located in Riverwest.
- Speaking of Riverwest, Our Lady of Divine Providence parish is comprised of two historic churches in that area. I think I will try and visit St. Casimir.
- St. Rose of Lima church is near Marquette and tucked away. I've never heard of it, but I'll add to the list.
- Sacred Heart Croatian has Croatian Mass. I'm intrigued and there!
- St. Vincent Palotti is another combined parish with historic churches on the west side of Milwaukee.
- All Saints is a combined parish of 9 central city churches. It has a gospel choir as well.
- Congregation of the Great Spirit is a Catholic Native American Community. Fascinating!
- Ss. Cyril and Methodius has Polish Mass
- St. Mary Magadelen has Korean Mass.
- My one exception to Milwaukee churches is Holy Hill, another Wisconsin basilica. I've never been here either and hear amazing things.