Sunday, July 13, 2008
One of the most pleasant sites in all of the Midwest is the Kemper Hall, a convent and girls boarding school on the Kenosha, Wisconsin Lakefront. Run for over 100 years by the Sisters of St. Mary, a small order of Episcopalian nuns, the former Durkee Mansion and school complex is in remarkably good condition to this day, thanks to the dedication of many volunteers and donors, as well as the management of the local Episcopalians in keeping this site as a much used public facility.
The chapel interior is more Catholic in style than most Roman Catholic facilities, with a massive wooden high altar, Marian imagery, stations of the cross, and magnificent-if not always consistent-stained glass.
The chapel is pretty much open to the public. There is a kind staff in the adjoining Durkee Mansion more than willing to show you around the grounds, as well as leave you alone for contemplation and devotion.
This is a grand place, right on Lake Michigan, available for weddings and other sacraments, with catering in the adjoining (rather fine) halls.