Basilica of the National Shrine
of Mary Help of Christians
In 2014, Conrad Schmitt Studios was part of a team that designed and fabricated a display case for a special gift from His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan to the Basilica of Holy Hill. Cardinal Dolan was the former Archbishop of Milwaukee, and frequently returns to the area to celebrate the Eucharist and speak to the Catholic community. Last year His Eminence presented the Basilica the pallium that he received from St. Pope John Paul II upon his appointment as the archbishop of Milwaukee in 2003.
A pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment bestowed by the pope upon archbishops. This circular band of white wool is worn around the shoulders and features two pendants. The pendants are weighted with small pieces of lead covered in black silk. The pallium symbolizes the dual responsibilities entrusted to each metropolitan archbishop: shepherding the flock and fostering communion with the Vicar of Christ. The pope is the only other member of the clergy to wear a version of the pallium.
Having worked with the Basilica many times throughout the years, the Carmelite Friars asked CSS to assist with the design of a case to house the pallium, as well as a description of the significance of the vestment, a photo of Cardinal Dolan and St. Pope John Paul II, and a time line of the Cardinal's life in the priesthood. The case is constructed of red rift oak and stained to match existing wood in the Basilica. Similarly, the metal base of the stand replicates the detailed fleur-de-lis design of the cast iron communion rail. Together, these components help incorporate the display case into the architecture of the space, and provide a worthy home for this precious gift.