Public invited to walk a 100-year journey in Marathon
For the first time since 1964, the public is invited to tour the interior of historic St. Anthony’s in Marathon on Sunday, June 10. To celebrate the 100-year Centennial anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone in 1918, special events and tours are planned to help the community learn more about the storied past of “the old Capuchin monastery” on the outskirts of the small village.
The afternoon will begin at 1 p.m. at Veterans Park five blocks west of St. Anthony’s on Fourth Street. In a recreation of what actually occurred 100 years ago, local families will offer stones just as their ancestors did to aid in the laying of the foundation of the beautiful brick building. After a procession to St. Anthony’s and a cornerstone prayer service, the tours begin at 2 p.m. to introduce the public to all three floors of the building, with guides telling stories about the many rooms – what they were originally, how they were used – and explaining what life was like for the Capuchin friars and seminarians in “cloister,” a monastic term that describes a way of living in community without interaction with the opposite gender and the public in general. Highlights include an auditorium where Capuchin friars would perform musical cantatas and humorous plays for children, a barbershop with the original equipment, an infirmary where Capuchins laid ill with tuberculosis in the 1920s, and so much more.
Many photos will help guests see history come alive as they explore the facility. A display of the original blueprints and many archival items can be found in the Solanus Center on the east side of the buliding, where the tours will begin, named after the recently beatified Capuchin priest who was a member of the Province of St. Joseph of Detroit, the original planners of St. Anthony’s.
More opportunities for exploration and education will take place outside on the 40-acre wooded grounds. A self-guided walking tour booklet will be available for those who wish to learn more about the property and what outside activities occupied the Capuchins’ time. Historic photos will be displayed throughout the tour.
Souvenirs and a light social will be available for guests before or after the tour. The last tour will leave at 4:30 p.m.
St. Anthony’s will provide an abbreviated tour for those in wheelchairs. The self-guided walking tours outside cover ground that may have protruding roots and uneven ground, so care must be exercised for those with mobility issues.
Address any questions to the Front Office staff at St. Anthony Spirituality Center by calling 715-443-2236 or by emailing [email protected].
St. Anthony Spirituality Center is a Franciscan retreat center in Marathon, eight minutes west of Wausau. Formerly a friary for Capuchin brothers and later as a seminary and school of theology, St. Anthony’s has functioned as a retreat center since 1970, serving thousands from all faith backgrounds who come with a desire for rest and renewal in faith. St. Anthony’s of Marathon, Inc., is a non-profit corporation formed in 2013 to keep the Center open after the Capuchins announced they could no longer support the ministry. St. Anthony Spirituality Center also provides facility space and hospitality for businesses and other organizations who bring their own groups to utilize the unique, historical accommodations. Find out more at http://sarcenter.com or call 715-443-2236 to schedule a tour.