A few years back my long time friend and fellow photographer, Wayne Brabender, asked me if I wanted to do a photo shoot at the church just down the road from his farm near Ashton, Wisconsin. Since it was in early March and spring had not sprung, it was an opportunity to get some indoor photography done. Wayne attended this church and the parochial school in his youth so is very familiar with the building and its history. Wayne is related to many of people in the Ashton community so one can’t say anything bad about anyone because they are likely related!
While the community of Ashton has evolved over the years, most of the settlers in the area were of German descent. When they arrived in the new country beginning in the 1840’s, they created many institutions that were familiar to them from the old country. One of them was St. Peter Catholic Church and School. The school celebrated it 150th year this past summer so the Church and School have been around at least since the 1860’s.
Prior to our photo shoot, Wayne contacted the priest, Father Dulli, for permission to photograph the interior of the Church. We met Father Dulli, who I realized went to school with our oldest daughter, after a brief chat and a promise to drop some folding money into the collection box we began our photo excursion. We pretty much had free rein but the good Father did counsel us to be respectful especially in the sanctuary. So let’s begin our photo tour with a few wide angle photos of the church interior. One can see and appreciate the detailed and ornate art work, the beautiful stained glass windows and rich woodwork. The Church is built in the Gothic style of architecture that flourished in Europe beginning in the 12th century.
Now a closer look at some of the details in the church. Note the pulpit that rises above the congregation so all can see and suspect everyone could hear the pastor’s sermon.
The following images were taken in the vestibule behind the alter. Note the priest’s vestments and the old wool sweater hanging on the hook on the top photo. To be honest it was pretty cool in that room!
These articles are for the alter servers to use. I found it funny that the fly swatter appeared to be an essential tool and had its own place!
Fortunately for us, the thurible that contains the incense was by a window with very good light. As a side note, incense is used by an number of religions as a way of offering sacrifice and lifting prayers to a deity. In addition many Christian denominations, Buddhists, Hindus, Islam and Jewish faith use incense in their rituals and traditions.
These two photos were taken in the choir loft as were some of the wide angle shots.
The statue ware throughout the Church was very beautiful, colorful and well preserved.
St. Peter’s has a side prayer chapel that looks like a grotto with rough stone. While it was very dark in this area, I thought this composition told the story.
The alter clothes were very elaborate and this one displayed the “trinity” as three persons in one.
This is a photo of the entrance to the Church through the main doors. Modern additions have included a side entrance and a larger gathering space.
After our nearly three hours of photography, we stepped outside were greeted by a gentle but steady snowfall. Look closely and you can see the snowflakes in the photo.
This past summer Wayne asked if I would photograph the 150th school reunion. I took this photo about 18 feet up in the air overlooking the ball field with the Church in the background. This photo also appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal the next day. It was a fun event with over 500 people attending.
Hope you enjoyed the photos of the Church.
Take care and travel safe.
Until next week,