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Trinity Woods: Making a place a home

When planning a move, there are many things to consider. When planning a big move like the one from Notre Dame of Elm Grove (NDEG) in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, to Trinity Woods in Milwaukee, there was even more to consider - including how to move the Caroline Bell, religious artifacts and the stained glass windows.

Some of the biggest items to move were the stained glass windows. “I was eager to help sisters with their transition to Trinity Woods with the stained glass windows,” said Bob Sherman, a long-time donor to SSND from Wisconsin. “Now, all the sisters will enjoy and remember where they were originally. I am glad I was able to do this for them. This is their connection and now the stained glass windows are here for them.”

Sister Debra Marie Sciano at Mother Caroline Chapel
Sister Debra Marie Sciano, Provincial Leader of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province, welcomes guests to a Mass of thanksgiving at Mother Caroline Chapel at Trinity Woods in Milwaukee. The stained glass windows moved from Notre Dame of Elm Grove, Elm Grove, Wisconsin, is seen in the background.

“One of the greatest blessings of Trinity Woods is that we are in the same space,” said Sister Marie Estelle Kuczynski.*  “At Notre Dame of Elm Grove, we lived in three separate buildings. Now the celebration of Mass in the Mother Caroline Chapel is especially significant since Mass unites us as one in community in Christ.” She went on to say, “For me, it is awesome to have precious artwork here at Trinity Woods that once adorned the walls and other spaces of Notre Dame of Elm Grove. When I first arrived here, it was exciting to spot where these items were displayed.”

Many supporters stepped forward to ensure the Mother Caroline Chapel at Trinity Woods was prepared for the sisters and residents to celebrate Mass, including a retired parish catechetical leader and liturgist, Jim Gill. Jim, an associate, was aware of the need for an ambo (lectern) that would be a fitting place for the proclamation of the scriptures in Mother Caroline Chapel at Trinity Woods. The Wisconsin associates raised the funds to build the ambo with the help of a local woodworker. The ambo was delivered to Trinity Woods around the same time the sisters arrived. Built of oak, its design echoes the altar in the former Holy Family Chapel at NDEG, with a custom stain color mixed to match the other finishes in the new chapel.

Moving the Caroline Bell, religious artifacts and stained glass windows, and building a new ambo, were only possible through the support from the community, associates, family and friends. In June, a Mass of thanksgiving was held in the chapel. The sisters are forever grateful for the support of their transition to Trinity Woods.

*Sister Marie Estelle passed away September 7, 2022. She was buried in the Notre Dame of Elm Grove Cemetery, Elm Grove, Wisconsin.


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