||Bishop Robert C. Morlino elevates the monstrance at the new Perpetual Adoration chapel at Holy Redeemer Church in Madison on December 22. (Catholic Herald photo/Joe Ptak)
MADISON -- Dennis Ganser, a parishioner at the Cathedral Parish and the proprietor of Ganser exteriors, had been an adorer for a number of years at the Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Redeemer Church.
Inspired by a strong spiritual impetus from our Blessed Mother, he was moved to donate a striking antique wooden statue of the Virgin Mary to the Adoration chapel. Indeed, the new statue of Mary brought new life to the chapel.
But it was only the beginning. Mary knew Ganser’s predilection for improving and perfecting — his talent for bringing both beauty and functionality to the exterior of homes throughout Southwestern Wisconsin. And so the design of an Adoration chapel more worthy of our Lord had begun.
Within a few weeks, a series of conceptual drawings had been completed and the enticing promise of a radical transformation of the chapel moved one step closer to reality. Soon, Dennis’ son Travis joined in the project as did a number of other parishioners at the Cathedral Parish. The process, however, was not one that involved the recruitment of others; it was as if Mary had simultaneously planted the same idea in the minds of a small group of faithful adorers. It was no longer a question of whether or not a new chapel design would be brought to fruition; it was a matter of when. A contingency built upon prayer and devotion to our Holy Mother soon yielded a forthright and driven corporeality.
Momentum began to build. There were a number of meetings with Msgr. Kevin Holmes. The Adoration Society gathered to offer its ideas and input. ARC Studio 3D, a Westside Madison business, created a series of computer generated drawings as well as a virtual animated model of the chapel. An event involving adorers from diverse parishes even beyond the bounds of the city, was held at the Bishop O’Connor Center in order to showcase the ideas of those involved in the project. Finally, True Construction Inc., was hired to assist in the project’s development, and construction officially began on November 3.
Over the course of the next month and a half, Perpetual Eucharist Adoration at Holy Redeemer Church was moved from the main Adoration chapel to the library, and the exciting, day-to-day changes were recorded on a Facebook site as the new chapel edged ever closer to completion. Along the way, there were many generous contributions to the project and miraculously, the number of adorers grew, despite the often cramped confines of the temporary library chapel. The multitude of graces that emanated from the first five years of Perpetual Adoration had a palpable effect on all aspects of construction and flowed gently throughout the daily machinations, yielding inspiration and a growing beauty.
Some of the unique design elements that were incorporated into the new chapel included a bilingually-rendered scroll that comprises part of St. John’s “Bread of Life” discourse, an ornately-designed and ornamented triptych that serves as a backdrop for the chapel altar, an original photograph of the image the Virgin of Guadalupe left on St. Juan Diego’s tilma, and a custom-designed credenza to hold all of the Eucharistic literature in the back of the chapel.
Exactly 49 days after the first brick had been laid, the renovation was completed. As a prelude to the Adoration Chapel’s rededication, Bishop Robert C. Morlino celebrated Mass at Holy Redeemer and inspirationally spoke of the remarkable spiritual importance of Eucharistic Adoration of our Lord. His words bore a resemblance to those of St. Thomas Aquinas, who wrote of Christ’s Body — the Eucharist —as the crown of all sacramental grace, where sacramental causality reaches its height.
Following that Mass on December 22, a joyful procession was held as Christ’s Eucharistic Presence was transferred to the new Adoration Chapel. Bishop Morlino then presided over Benediction and the chapel rededication.
That day also marked the celebration of the Magnificat — Mary’s proclamation of the greatness of our Lord, present in both the world and the blessed intimacy of her own soul. This same presence had now returned to the same chapel that first hosted Perpetual Adoration in February of 2006. It was a remarkable and befitting end, as the miraculous transcendent presence of Christ again came to reside in a chapel, resplendent in both design and beauty, lovingly constructed by those who desired to create a resting place more worthy of our Lord.
Interested in seeing the new Adoration Chapel at Holy Redeemer and signing up for a regular adoration time? Call the Adoration coordinator, Brian Wentz, at 608-833-0554, or send an e-mail to
To view a video on the dedication of the chapel, click here.