School Sisters of St. Francis
Press Release

Landmark Chapel Centennial Celebration Concludes with Concert

School Sisters of St. Francis, musical guests to perform March 18

By - Mar 7th, 2018 11:32 am
St. Joseph Chapel

St. Joseph Chapel

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 26, 2018— The yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of St. Joseph Chapel, one Milwaukee’s most splendid spiritual and architectural landmarks, will conclude with a free concert on Sunday, March 18, at 2:00 pm.

Located in St. Joseph Center at the corner of Greenfield Avenue and South Layton Boulevard (South 27th Street), the Chapel is part of a large complex that includes the international motherhouse (headquarters) of the School Sisters of St. Francis. The concert, titled “Legacy of Hope,” will celebrate the Chapel’s first century as a place of welcome, spiritual enrichment, and community.

Designed by renowned Milwaukee church architects Peter Brust and Richard Philipp, the chapel was constructed between August 2013 and March 1917 at a cost of $461,000—the equivalent of more than $10 million today. To complete the project, the sisters had to overcome the challenges of construction and delivery of materials from European ports at the height of World War I. As the city’s finest example of Romanesque Revival design, it was designated a Milwaukee landmark in 1973.

The architectural beauty and acoustical excellence of the Chapel have made it a favorite venue for concerts by many local and touring performers, including Bel Canto, the Bach Chamber Choir, Milwaukee Mastersingers, and Early Music Now.

“Legacy of Hope” will celebrate the spiritual, cultural, and educational impact of the Chapel throughout the past century. Choral and organ works specially commissioned for the centennial, as well as compositions by members of the religious congregation, will be performed by the SSSF Chapel Singers, directed by Sister Bernadette Luecker, with organists Sister Mary Jane Wagner and Sheri Masiakowski. Music of Palestrina, Handel, Bruckner, Proulx, Susa, Nelson, and Walker will be presented by a festival choir with organ, flute, brass, and percussion, directed by Charles Q. Sullivan.

The concert will be followed by a reception in St. Joseph Hall, in which archived photos of the construction of the Chapel are on display. Free parking is available in the St. Joseph Center lot at 29th Street and Orchard Street, with street parking also available. The center is also served by buses on Route 27 (27th Street) and Route 56 (Greenfield Avenue).

Please see the attachment for more information about the chapel, or visit to learn more about the history and activities of the School Sisters of St. Francis.

St. Joseph Chapel Mission Statement

The mission of St. Joseph Chapel is to provide a sacred environment that supports communion with the Divine for all people of faith. The School Sisters of St. Francis invite individuals and groups into quiet contemplation, liturgical celebrations, and inspirational artistic expression for personal, local, and global renewal.

About the School Sisters of St. Francis

The School Sisters of St. Francis are an international community of Catholic sisters who unite with others to build a just and peaceful world. Founded in 1874, they now have sisters, associates, staff, donors and volunteers actively working to address the needs of those who are poor and marginalized by society. Their mission is thriving throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and India. In the U.S., School Sisters live and minister in 15 states, addressing needs in education, holistic wellness and healing, pastoral ministry, spiritual growth, social justice, and the arts. For more information about the School Sisters of St. Francis, please visit

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