University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The University of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 49, Number 8 (May 1948)

All around the Wisconsin campus,   pp. 8-11

Page 8

St. Paul's Chapel Serves
  * Over 1,200 masses a year, 25,000 confessions, and 26,500 comr-
  munions testify to the service of Fr. Alvin R. Kutchera and to the
  religious interest of Catholic students at the University.
always been a part of the life of the
University of Wisconsin. And yet if
even the devout observer were asked
why it is important that the church
be active on the campus, his reply
perhaps would be as vague as that of
Clarence Day's father, in Life With
Father, who accepted the church for
much the same reason that he accepted
the bank, because it was "respectable,
decent, and venerable."
  The easiest way to get first hand
information about the church is to visit
one of the student religious centers on
the campus and see for oneself what
is being done by the church. St. Paul's
Catholic -Rectory at 723 State St. is
  In architecture the stately Tudor
Gothic of St. Paul's Chapel stands out
in sharp) contrast to the modern box-
like design. of the two-story rectory
beside it. But the symbolism is easily
caught-eternal truth and today's prac-
tical needs standing side by side in
pearl-grey stone.
  The first floor of the rectory has a
spacious student lounge equipped with
a combination radio and phonograph
set, magazine rack, piano, and comfor-
table easy chairs. The lounge is called
Newman Commons after John Henry
Newman, who was the mind of the
Oxford Group Movement, a convert to
Catholicism, later ordained a priest,
and finally raised to the dignity of the
Cardinalate in the Catholic hierarchy.
  Newman Library, also on the first
floor, has 2,000 volumes for students
who have a mind to pursue further on
an ethical and moral plane questions
raised in the classroom. The library
with its long work-table and straight-
back chairs is also a good place for
concentrated study before exams or for
meeting a term paper deadline.
  Officially the Catholic student flock,
according to the statistics from the
Registrar's office, totaled 2900 students
for the first semester of the school
year 1947-48. Of these, approximately
2,000 attended the five masses every
Sunday at St. Paul's Chapel. The
spiritual monument for 1947 is equally
impressive. One thousand two hundred
and twelve masses were said (two
masses are said every morning for the
convenience of the students). The 25,-
000 confessions heard and 26,500 com-
munions received also represent devoted
service by the rector, Fr. Alvin R.
Kutchera, and his assistant, Fr. Jerome
J. Hastrich.
  Father Kutchera, rector of St. Paul's
these past 11 years, has his office be-
tween the lounge and the library. Here
students bring their problems-spir-
itual, scholastic, and otherwise-every
afternoon and evening with or without
  St. Paul's rector is friendly in a
quiet way that inspires confidence. He
is slow to speak and a marvelous lis-
tener which makes him a good coun-
selor. Habits of study and prayer make
him an ideal student pastor. ,
  "It is our purpose," says Father
Kutchera, "to give our Catholic stu-
dents, and anyone else interested, a
realistic, rational approach to religion
on the university level."
  It is an ambitious program, but one
vital to the life of the University.
  A weekly class in ethics, marriage,
and religious evidence is made available
to the students by a guest instructor,
Father Chas. E. Hayes, 0. P., assistant
pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church
in the city. Further formal instruction
is received in the course of Sunday
sermons slanted to the needs and prob-
lems of University students. This year
the sermons from September to Novem-
ber covered. the social mission of the
Catholic church. These were followed
by a course of sermons on secularism
in the individual, in the home, in the
state, in education, and on the inter-
national level.
  Lent this year brought Father Wal-
ter H. Belda, a member of the faculty
of St. Francis de Sales Theological
Seminary, Milwaukee, to the campus
as guest preacher.
  Bi-weekly Newman Club meetings
give the students a chance to bring
current campus subjects into the dis-
cussions of the open forum.
  All, however, is not work at St.
Paul's Rectory. Play also receives its
STUDENTS flock to the door of St. Paul's
Chapel on State St.
full quota of planning and enjoyment.
Highlights on the social calendar are
the coffee hours after University ath-
letic contests, the Christmas and Easter
communion   breakfasts, frequent in-
formal dances in Newman Commons,
and the annual semi-formal spring and
fall dances sponsored by the student
Holy Name Society and the Catholic
Daughters of the University.
Tumblers Roll Into Action
  * Not since 1936 has the University of Wisconsin had a gymnastics
  team. Now the tumblers and the, trapese artists are coming into
  their own on campus, will enter the Big Nine meet next year.
  THE   1949 GYMNASTICS       season
will see the Wisconsin team participat-
ing in its first Big Nine conference
meet since 1936.
  The gymnastics team has been sort
of a "poor cousin" in the athletic de-
partment for over a decade, first be-
cause good performers are really hard
to find, and second because the recent
war diverted much of the interest in
the so-called minor sports, and gym-
nastics hasn't quite recovered yet.
  But gymnastics and tumbling at
the University are due for a comeback,
according to Dean Mory, '37, who was
captain of the 1936 team, and who was
hired this season to coach the team.
(Wisconsin got its gymnastic "shot in
the arm" a little too late in the present
season to be included on the Big Nine
  Gymnastics has never been much of
a spectator sport in the Middlewest
even though some of the events rank
high from a standpoint of thrills, spills
and all of the other qualities that at-
tract large crowds to other sports.
Participating athletes must be in tip-
top form and possess "guts" before
they can throw themselves through the
air in a series of backward flip-flops,
make like Tarzan on the high bar and
flying rings, or vault over a long horse
which measures 8 feet in length and
about 4 feet in height. Some western
schools have been known to bring as
large crowds to see a gymnastics meet
as are attracted to their basketball
  The most popular gymnastics event
with the crowds is tumbling. Wiscon-
sin's tumblers have performed many
times before the audiences of basket-
ball games at the field house. The ova-
tions that these athletes have received
for their between-the-halves perform-
ances are proof enough that gymnastics
can become a really popular spectator
  Speaking of tumbling, Wisconsin has
some fine talent in that field. William
Schultz, Jr., a physical education junior
who also represents the squad on the
Athletic Board, Jim Gilbert, L and S
junior, William Kennedy, a sophomore
in phy-ed, and Bob Shehan, a pre-med
student, have all received previous
training in tumbling from William

Go up to Top of Page