1.Sinsinawa Mound--585 County Road Z, Sinsinawa, Wis.
Sinsinawa Mound is rich in the beauty of nature and in heritage. In Native American Sioux language, Sinsinawa means “home of the young eagle.” Sinsinawa Mound is where the Sinsinawa Dominican mission of preaching and teaching the Gospel begins.
What started in 1847 as four Sisters and their founder, a pioneer priest, Venerable Samuel Mazzuchelli, in the southwest corner of Wisconsin, grew in both members and places of ministry to spread across the nation and reach into other countries in order to preach and teach the Gospel. Spanning three centuries, more than 3,500 Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters have worked to nourish faith and encourage families.
Although the Sinsinawa Dominicans were not founded until 1847, in 1844 Father Mazzuchelli purchased 800 acres of land, 450 of which are now known as Sinsinawa Mound. In that same year, he built what is known as the Stone Building. Today, this building sits at the center of the Mound complex and houses retired Sisters and Sisters working in congregation offices at the Mound.
As the Sinsinawa Dominican mission grew, so did Sinsinawa Mound. In 1882, St. Clara Academy was added to the Stone Building. By 1900, the Sisters added a four-story convent building, which included space for a novitiate program. A chaplain’s house, now known as Westknoll, also was built on the grounds.
The exhibit, "Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP, Tracing a Journey." honors this man who was an architect, educator and spiritual leader. After exploring the beautiful grounds and building, be sure to visit the bakery and gift shop. Open daily 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Sundays 12:30- 4 p.m. There are various concerts and programs hosted at the Mound so visit email@example.com for more information.
2. New Melleray Abbey--16632 Monastery Road, Peosta, Iowa
New Melleray is a Cistercian (Trappist) monastery located in the rolling farmland south of Dubuque, Iowa. The Monks are self supported by farming and making wooden caskets. Please visit the website at www.TrappistCaskets.
Currently, about 30 monks live, work and pray at the Abbey. One of Cistercians' best-filled missions is providing hospitality to guests.
The monks of New Melleray are Catholics, professing the Rule of St. Benedict in the spirit of the founders of Citeaux, as handed on in the tradition of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, within a community wholly ordered to a contemplative life of prayer.
Historic and peaceful, the Trappist Monks offer group or individual tours by appointment. Take time to visit the chapel, exhibit and casket making factory. The Monks of New Melleray Abbey have made caskets by hand since 1849. Please visit firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
3. Basilica of St. Francis--104 Third Street SW, Dyersville, Iowa
Basilica of St. Francis Xavier, built in 1888, is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the Midwest. The church has a seating capacity of 1200. Their are 2 steeples over 200 feet tall and crosses atop the steeples stand 14 feet high. The interior decoration was completely repainted and restored 2000-2001, and new 24 carat gold and silver leaf was applied. Of the 64 stained glass windows and transoms, installed in 1889, ten contain pictures of the life of Christ and His saints. This ia a site not to be missed. Contact rectory office at 563-875-7325 for more information.
4. Dickeyville Grotto -- 305 W. Main St. Dickeyville, Wis.
The Dickeyville Grotto and Shrines stands on the grounds of Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Dickeyville, Wis. Father Matthias Wernerus, a Catholic priest, built the shrines between 1925 and 1930 from materials collected worldwide. It is a creation in stone, mortar and bright colored objects-collected materials from all over the world. These include colored glass, gems, antique heirlooms of pottery or porcelain, stalagmites and stalactites, sea shells, starfish, petrified sea urchins and fossils, and a variety of corals, amber glass, agate, quartz, ores, such as iron, copper and lead, fool's gold, rock crystals, onyx, amethyst and coal, petrified wood and moss.
There are several shrines in the Grotto garden. Besides the main shrine (which houses the Grotto of the Blessed Virgin), there is a patriotic shrine, the sacramental shrine of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacred Heart shrine, Christ the King shrine, Fatima shrine, and the Stations of the Cross. These shrines are located in a beautiful floral garden area surrounding the Holy Ghost Church.
There is no cost to visit, but donations are accepted. Guided Tours available June 1 - August 31 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 7 days a week. Sept - Oct 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. weekends only.