Cathedral Book & Gift celebrates 75 years in business
By Heather Graves
“Cathedral Book & Gift is a destination, a place of peace and hope,” Store manager Ann Kieltyka said. “The staff embraces our role of providing caring and knowledgeable customer service.”
The shop opened its doors Dec. 16, 1946, as St. Catherine’s Library, a lending library housed in Mary Patricia Stenger’s Monroe Street home.
Three years later, it moved to South Jefferson Street, changed its name to St. Catherine Book Shop and incorporated as a non-profit organization.
Kieltyka said for the next 57 years, the store remained in the little white house on the corner of Crooks and Jefferson, with the late Mary Lou Ziga serving as its manager.
A board of directors was formed in 2005 and soon after, Kieltyka said the store moved to its current location at 131 S. Madison St., a building owned by St. Francis Xavier Cathedral Parish.
“I started as a volunteer in early 2011, and later that year, I was named the new store manager,” Kieltyka said.
Kieltyka said the last 10 years have been a time of growth and expansion for the store.
“The main area and the side rooms were all repainted and reorganized so as to offer a larger variety of faith-based products,” she said. “The primary focus of the store had been Christian/Catholic books for all ages, but now faith-based gifts make up half of our inventory. The mission has been constant throughout the 75 years, to share our Catholic faith in a welcoming environment.”
Kieltyka said the store changed its name to Cathedral Book & Gift in 2013 to “better reflect the store as it is offering books and gifts.”
She said customers visit from the Greater Green Bay area, northern Wisconsin, Door County and Upper Michigan.
She said it’s the shop’s goal to expand its website and grow online sales, to explore new faith-based products and offer classes to share and discuss our faith.
“Our hope is to continue to be here for many, many more years, offering faith-based gifts and books to nourish souls and bring them closer to Christ,” she said.
Kieltyka said the shop carries the works of many Catholic authors, such as Scott Hahn and Bishop Robert Barron, along with local authors, Fr. Edward Looney and Julianne Stanz.
As far as gifts, she said the shop carries a wide selection of mementos to celebrate a special time such as Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage and Holy Orders.
“(We have) a wide range of rosaries, crucifixes, Bibles, children’s books and gifts – holy cards and greeting cards are always on hand,” she said. “Need a broken rosary repaired? We can help. We also offer Mystic Monk coffee and tea, produced in Wyoming by the Carmelite Monks.
Regular hours for Cathedral Book and Gift are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
More information can be found online at cathedralbookandgift.com.
Cathedral Book & Gift is celebrating its milestone anniversary with an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16.
“Our staff, volunteers and board of directors will be on hand to greet visitors,” Kieltyka said. “We are planning giveaways and special discounts, along with treats and refreshments.”