Three days after the ship docked at Southampton, Jane and Sarah were in Paris celebrating Christmas. The novelty added pleasure to the start of their adventure. But their fellowship was short; plans soon required them to separate for a time. While Sarah stayed in the French capital on personal business, Jane left for Munich to meet Ellen and her students. On her way to Munich, she visited Ulm Cathedral, the first station on her Comtean pilgrimage.1
The church delighted her. Though a Christian house of prayer, it openly celebrated humanism. Reflecting Renaissance and Reformation influences, the formerly Catholic, now Protestant, place of worship was decorated with carved wooden figures of Christian saints and pagan philosophers. Saint Paul was on equal footing here with Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. “Matthew Arnold's idea of culture came to me so often,” Jane wrote her friend Flora Guiteau. She left Ulm Cathedral filled with the longing to be part of something larger and finer than herself—the same desire that had fueled her pursuit of culture and her conversion to Christianity. That night, with Comte's idea of a Religion of Humanity and his motto “live to serve” on her mind, she scribbled in a notebook about her hope for a Cathedral of Humanity. She wanted it to be “capacious enough to house a fellowship of common purpose” for all and to be “beautiful enough to persuade men to hold fast to the vision of human solidarity.”2 The cathedral was an appealing metaphor for a shared undertaking because it was large and beautiful, but perhaps also because it was a building, something tangible that made her dreams manifest.
She met Ellenin Munich, where they stayed for a week. In the mornings they visited art galleries looking for prints for the Kirkland School and in the afternoons they talked for hours, studied Italian, and paid visits to people they had met. Jane's contentment was complete. She wrote her sister