Our privacy policy has changed. By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Dismiss

Nuns will have to bless Cardinal Stritch campus

Jan. 28, 2009

Final approval to construct a Cardinal Stritch University campus at the Cousins Center and athletic fields on the We Energies property must be blessed by three Roman Catholic nuns before plans become a reality.

“There are certain decisions that have to come to the sisters,” said Sister Joanne Schatzlein, director of the office of corporate ministries for Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi.

Cardinal Stritch University is one of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi’s corporate ministries.

If the St. Francis Common Council passes a rezoning request to accommodate a $150 million campus, a deal to purchase the property must first be authorized by Cardinal Stritch’s board of trustees.

A resolution to purchase the land would then be sent to the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi’s Administrative Team, which has authority over property transactions, said Sister Florence Deacon, director of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi.

The three nuns who make up the team will have final say on whether the deal is sealed.

Returning to their roots

So far, the proposal seems to be a step in the right direction in the eyes of the Franciscan sisters, Sister Deacon said. Not only would the university boost the local economy, but a campus at the Cousins Center and We Energies properties would be a migration back to the university’s roots, she said.

“The Marian Center and our motherhouse (Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi) was all Cardinal Stritch,” she said. “So they are really coming back.”

St. Ann Center, another of the nuns’ ministries, and the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi headquarters would border the campus.

Woods is sacred

If Cardinal Stritch occupies the proposed site in St. Francis, ensuring that Seminary Woods is protected would be a top priority, Sister Deacon said.

Sister Schatzlein said deceased priests and sisters from Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi are buried in a cemetery there, and members of the congregation are always walking through and keeping an eye on the woods.

“The woods have always been a sacred place for us,” she said.

Concerns expressed by environmental groups that ecosystems would be harmed if athletic fields were developed near the woods are “confusing” for the sisters, she said.

Sister Schatzlein said some people are defining the We Energies site as “prairie land.”

No longer smokestacks

But about 20 years ago there were four smokestacks across the street from the site near Lake Michigan, where We Energies burned coal for energy, Sister Deacon said.

“And now they are concerned that we would make a soccer field,” she said. “I mean, what’s wrong with this picture. A soccer field is a whole lot environmentally friendlier than the huge smokestacks that we used to have.”

Cardinal Stritch has been working with the state Department of Natural Resources to adequately address environmental concerns, she said.

City Building Inspector Craig Vretenar said all Stritch’s proposed structures lie at least 75 feet away from environmental corridors.

Plans for the We Energies site include athletic fields, a parking structure and a field house, according to plans from university officials.

The university would institute educational programs, enhancing care of the woods, Sister Schatzlein said.

“If there’s going to be a buyer for that property, what better group than a group that is committed that has a key value of environmental concern,” she said.

Chantel Balzell can be reached at (262) 446-6602.

NEXT STEP

WHAT: Public hearing on the Cardinal Stritch rezoning proposal, followed by Common Council discussion and possible action

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2

WHERE: St. Francis High School gymnasium, 4225 S. Lake Drive

Community Watch

» Classes resume at Franklin High School following evacuation Updated:  01:15 PM

» Franklin High School wins awards for "Fiddler on the Roof" 12:10 PM

» View some Art in the Park in Oak Creek May 28 10:08 AM

» Boerner Botanical Gardens hosting Herb Fair May 28 5/24

» Greendale's Canterbury Elementary enters recycling contest to win new playground 5/24

» Oak Creek boys track team stays on task, win sixth SEC outdoor title 5/24

» Initial Reaction: Talking with star Waukesha soccer players Dani Rhodes, Emily Cervantes Updated:  5/24

» Franklin boys tennis team dominates SEC tourney 5/24

» Big bats land Oak Creek softball team SEC title 5/24

» Steady Franklin golfers claim Southeast Conference title 5/23

» Grease fire damages oven at Franklin bakery 5/20

» Five places to go to let your dog off the leash this summer 5/19

» Reptile Day returns June 12 at Wehr Nature Center 5/19

» Oak Creek stuns Whitnall, 12-2, in battle of softball powers 5/19

» Crash closes portion of Highway 100 in Hales Corners May 18 5/18

» Oak Creek approves $13 million financing help for Ikea store 5/18

» Franklin girls soccer team finishes second at Kiel tournament 5/17

» Why did IKEA choose Oak Creek? Location 5/17

» Oak Creek to honor veterans May 30 5/17

» Initial Reaction Podcast: A chat with award-winning sportscaster Dennis Krause Updated:  5/17

» Oak Creek's Marwin Evans signs with Green Bay Packers 5/14

» Help clean up Hales Corners May 14 5/13

» Know Your Muslim Neighbors event being held at Hales Corners Library May 14 5/12

» Hard-hitting Oak Creek softball team charges into SEC lead 5/10

» Ahead of schedule, Oak Creek girls track team wins SEC relays 5/10

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever

 

We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

CONNECT