Stations of the Cross: A look at seven parish stations

ALLOUEZ — This week The Compass begins a seven-part Lenten series on local Stations of the Cross. We asked readers to nominate a parish or religious institution with interesting, historic or unique Stations of the Cross and to provide a short description of them.

We received seven replies and St. Mary Parish in Menasha is the first to be featured.

St. Mary Church in Menasha features traditional and ornate Stations of the Cross. Pictured above are the first station, right, Jesus is condemned to death, and the second station, Jesus carries his cross. The wooden stations were recently restored and a gold leaf application was added to the background. (Brad Birkholz | For The Compass)

According to Jean Sell of St. Mary Parish, the traditional wooden stations that line the Menasha church were created by William Scheer, who was born Jan. 2, 1865, in Cologne, Germany. William’s father was a well-known church decorator.

“William studied under the best teachers and traveled extensively studying the decorative arts in Europe’s cathedrals,” according to Sell. “He came to America in 1884 and lived in the area. After arriving here, he worked without pay until he was established and his fame spread.”

During his career, Scheer painted many of the best known churches in the Midwest, said Sell. He also did sculpturing and wood carving. “His decorations, painted long ago, are in St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay and the Stations of the Cross in St. Mary Church.” Scheer died in 1946 at the age of 81.

“We recently had (the stations) restored,” said Sell, including a gold leaf application.

Why not visit St. Mary Church during Lent and meditate on the Passion of Jesus, as depicted in their Stations of the Cross?

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