On August 1, 2011 a new chapter was added to the story of the statue of the Divine Savior that graces the grounds of our SDS Community House in Milwaukee.
The story began in Italy back in 1939. The bronze statue was designed and cast in Rome by Austrian-born artist Ferdinand Seeboeck. He was commissioned by Society of the Divine Savior Fathers and Brothers who served at the former Salvatorian Seminary in St. Nazianz, Wis. By the time Seeboeck completed the work, World War II had broken out and closed shipping lanes across the Atlantic. The statue finally arrived in St. Nazianz in 1948 for dedication at the seminary in December that year.
After the seminary closed in the 1980s, the Fathers and Brothers bestowed the Divine Savior statue to the Salvatorian Sisters, in gratitude for their decades of service to the seminary community. For the next 25 years, the weather-worn statue stood outside the east wall of our Queen of Apostles Chapel.
Milwaukee artist David Wanner was a ’53 alumnus of the Salvatorian Seminary in St. Nazianz. He offered to restore the statue and oversee its placement on a tall pedestal away from the building to give it greater prominence. David and his fellow alumni raised funds to cover costs of the restoration project. Following the statue rededication ceremony in 2011, the Salvatorian Sisters hosted a reunion for St. Nazianz alum in gratitude for their dedication to restore the statue to its original beauty as a work of art and symbol of faith.