Diocesan history comes to life at museum’s new kiosk

By Sam Lucero | The Compass | May 3, 2016

Interactive computer allows guests to see, hear nuggets of local church history

GREEN BAY — A new addition to the Diocesan Museum and Cultural Center allows guests to see and hear nuggets of local church history.

The museum, located in the lower level of the Bishop Wycislo Center, adjacent to St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, recently debuted its long-awaited interactive computer touch screen kiosk terminal. The kiosk was created by Digital Design Services, Inc., of Green Bay and features five main sections of church history, with subsections offering greater detail of topics.

A screenshot of the main menu on the interactive kiosk terminal at the Diocesan Museum and Cultural Center. The kiosk was installed in March and is available for public viewing. (Courtesy of Digital Design Services | For The Compass)
A screenshot of the main menu on the interactive kiosk terminal at the Diocesan Museum and Cultural Center. The kiosk was installed in March and is available for public viewing. (Courtesy of Digital Design Services | For The Compass)

The kiosk has been in development since February 2014, when a steering committee was tasked with developing an interactive, multimedia terminal.

According to Carol Jones, a committee member and coordinator of the Diocesan Museum, the project was inspired by a similar terminal that was on display at the Neville Museum, where she served on its board of directors.

Digital Design Services also has created interactive kiosks at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, and History Museum at the Castle in Appleton.

The Diocesan Museum’s steering committee contacted Digital Design Services and plans for a kiosk with diocesan history began to unfold.

The interactive kiosk at the Diocesan Museum features five main sections. The “cultural treasures” section includes links to “artifacts, relics and garments that shape our rituals.” (Courtesy of Digital Design Services | For The Compass)
The interactive kiosk at the Diocesan Museum features five main sections. The “cultural treasures” section includes links to “artifacts, relics and garments that shape our rituals.” (Courtesy of Digital Design Services | For The Compass)

“The interactive touch screen computer terminal allows easy access for all ages to learn about the history of the Catholic Church in northeastern Wisconsin and the development of the Green Bay Diocese from 1868 to the present,” according to a press release.

The terminal is durable enough to allow young children to scroll through the touchscreen and view the numerous video and pictorial offerings.

“Through animation, the deceased bishops are presented live as they share their life stories as bishop,” the statement continued. Bishop David Ricken, Bishop Emeritus Robert Banks and Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Robert Morneau also offer video messages.

In a welcome video address, Fr. Joseph Dorner, rector and pastor of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, notes that the Diocesan Museum is home to more than 800 religious objects dating back to the 1800s.

He also describes how cathedral and diocesan leaders saw the need for a museum to house these objects.

Additional segments on the kiosk cover cultural treasures, the music of the church, rich Catholic symbolism and the cathedral’s patron and namesake, St. Francis Xavier.

Jones said that the interactive computer terminal will be expanded in the future with additional information. “The committee is currently developing Phase II additions with Digital Design Services,” she said.

These additional features include immigration stories, downtown churches, architectural influences, historical photographs and diocesan “ghost” parishes.

Since its installation at the Diocesan Museum on March 17, various church and civic groups have had the opportunity to view it, said Jones. “We’ve gotten positive feedback. We have church groups, children’s groups and pilgrimage tours coming up.”

The museum is open every Sunday after the 9 a.m. Mass, from 10 a.m. to noon. It is also open by appointment and/or private tour groups. (920-432-4348).

Jones said the kiosk was made possible through donations from many generous individuals and groups. One screen section of the kiosk includes a listing of financial contributors as well as volunteers who made the project possible.

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