Holy Ghost Park

Dickeyville, Wisconsin

Born September 10, 1873 in Ketteris, Rhine, Germany (now Belgium), Mathias Wernerus came to the U.S. at age 30.  First work
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Like Paul Dobberstein, he attended St. Francis Seminary near Milwaukee. In 1918 he became pastor of Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Dickeyville. He made his first sculptures to decorate a war memorial he built in the church cemetery.  
d-heart.jpg (74803 bytes) With the help of a devoted parishioner, George Splinter, he created ever more elaborate encrusted shrines on the church grounds, until his death in 1931.
Fr. Wernerus brought stone from limestone quarries along the nearby Mississippi and went spelunking to gather stalactites. d-conch.jpg (130791 bytes)
Like Fr. Dobberstein, whose work inspired him, he used fossils, crystals, and shells to glorify
d-fountain.JPG (117991 bytes) their Maker. But he also made extensive use of artificial materials, like glass and gearshift knobs.

Getting there

Dickeyville is in the SE corner of Wisconsin, 10 miles NE of Dubuque, Iowa on US 61 & 151. Follow the GROTTO signs.


Always open.
Huge gift shop open 7 days
May 1 - Oct. 31, 9:00 - 7:00.

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Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly