SINSINAWA, Wis.—The Benton, Wis., home of Venerable Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP, from 1852 to 1864 is open for visitors every Sunday from June 7 through mid-October from 2 to 4 p.m. The house was restored in 2019 and the story of the Rev. Mazzuchelli’s life in the tristate area is told through photos, text and artifacts.
Mazzuchelli is known in the tristate area for establishing at least 35 parish communities, designing and building at least 24 churches, and founding the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. He was declared “Venerable” by Pope John Paul II, the first step to sainthood.Mazzuchelli’s life and example continue to have meaning for people today. His commitment to justice for the oppressed, education, and responsible civic participation are relevant values for our time.
Thirty years ago, devoted parishioners of St. Patrick Parish, Benton, raised funds to save the house and moved the structure to parish property next to the current 1920s rectory. A new foundation, windows, roof and front entrance were added at that time. The house has four rooms and a small hall with staircase. On the lower floor was Mazzuchelli’s office in the front and in the back his bedroom. He never used the upstairs, but his records indicate that he offered it as housing for anyone who needed it, including a married couple, a widow with two small children, the parish sexton and others.
In 2019, the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa and St. Patrick Parish, led by the Rev. Dave Flanagan, coordinated efforts to restore the house. It was returned to its original layout and now focuses on Mazzuchelli’s life and achievements as well as his holy death that took place there. The house was painted inside and out, broken boards were replaced and a new door frame and windows were installed. Clear plexiglass panels printed with photographs, maps and text on walls of the two rooms tell the story of Mazzuchelli’s life. Antique furniture, period pieces and a few items known to be his create a vignette of how the house might have looked in those years of his residence. Outside, a larger sidewalk now leads to Mazzuchelli’s gravesite.