SMV Ponderings

Located in the heart of Elm Grove, St. Mary’s Visitation School provides exceptional academics and faith formation for grades K3 through 8.

SMV Junior High Experiences Beauty, Faith at Holy Hill

St. Mary's Visitation Junior High Students Soak Up Beauty, Faith on their Visit to Holy Hill

Faith-filled, fun and fabulous fall weather! That describes the recent St. Mary's Visitation junior high field trip to St. Francis de Sales Seminary and Holy Hill Shrine and Basilica in Hubertus. The multi-dimensional field trip combined art, religion local history and geography. The students photographed the trip and will use the photos to record the experience in written and visual reflections. First stop was the historic seminary in St. Francis, and students were treated to a fascinating tour led by SMV's own Fr. Peter Berger, who was former vocations director for the seminary. Students explored the historic chapel and every nook and cranny of the 150 year old building, learning from Fr. Peter the architectural background, history and local lore. Later, the junior high boarded buses and headed to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill, where they took advantage of the Indian summer weather and had a picnic lunch on the grounds, before heading to the beautiful and historic upper church, lower church and tower. Students heard a talk by Fr Cyril Guisa ODC which traced Holy Hill's roots from a sacred place for American Indians to humble immigrant church built on the highest point in southeastern Wisconsin to today's Minor Basilica that attracts international pilgrims.

Remarked one 8th grader, "The architecture was incredible, and walking to the top of the tower was like walking up to heaven."

In the words of another SMV 8th grader, "The beautiful view of the majestic landscape made me feel closer to God and realize that every single day is a gift."

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