For decades UW-Stout students, faculty and staff have gone to the Blue House, as it’s affectionately known, on north campus for religious and spiritual needs. On May 4 a reception signaled the “end of an era” for that tradition, according to the Rev. Kurt Larson, ELCA Lutheran campus minister.

The Ministry, a partnership of the Catholic and Lutheran faiths, moved in August from the house at 108 3rd Ave. W. to a former hot dog restaurant at 710 2nd St., on the Clock Tower plaza next to Harvey Hall.

Christine Warloski, director of the UW-Stout Catholic Campus Ministry, Newman Community, said a family sold the Blue House to the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse in 1960 for $1. It served solely as the Newman Center until The Ministry was incorporated by ELCA Lutheran Church and the Diocese of La Crosse in 1970.

The Rev. Donald Wisner, a Lutheran minister, and the Rev. William Jablonske, a Catholic priest, are the original clergy who formed The Ministry.

The diocese then sold the house to The Ministry, which is operated by a board of directors drawn from lay members of the two churches.

The Blue House, across the street from Fleming Hall, will be sold at a later date to pay for the purchase and remodeling of The Ministry’s new home, Larson said.

Much of the building remodeling at the new site is being handled by volunteers from the Pounding Fathers, a group of mostly retired UW-Stout faculty and staff.

Summer Outlook 2012