The Stained Glass Windows of St. Mary Church
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
God makes the universe. In the center panel of this window, God the Father is depicted coming out of chaos, a swirling dark mass. On the right is seen the bright colored Sun which God has made. On the left side is seen the moon and the stars on a blue background. The contrast of dark blue colors and the brighter colors can be understood to represent day and night (Genesis 1:1-5).The green shore below is the earth.
Noah is seen standing on board the ark with the various animals. The dark colors on the right represent the storm and its rain pouring down. The left side shows the tranquility of the storm ended after forty days (Genesis 7:1-8, 14).
Abraham is the first person to believe in one God. His is the first great person of faith. Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were on in years. They were childless. God gave them a son, Isaac, to answer their prayers. Later, God put Abraham's faith to the test. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham wanted to do God's will. As difficult as it was, he agreed to do as God asked. At the very last second before the sacrifice, an angel stops Abraham from completing the sacrifice of his son. Instead, the angel tells Abraham to sacrifice a ram which was caught in the bushes. Abraham does so. This window contains all the key elements of the story: Abraham, Isaac bound on the altar of sacrifice, the ram in the bushes, the knife of sacrifice, the angel who stopped Abraham (Genesis 2:1-18).
"Moses and the Great Law Giver"
Here is seen Moses having come down from Sinai holding God's ten commandments. In the background is Mount Sinai. To the left are the Hebrew people listening to Moses (Exodus 20:1-26).
"John Baptizes Jesus"
John was the last of the Old Testament prophets. He was also the cousin of Jesus. Jesus came to hear John preaching repentance as many people did. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River (Mark 1:9-19).
God promised to send a savior. Jesus was born in Bethlehem in a place where animals were housed because there was no room for them at the inn. This window is animated by the outside tree that waves in the sunshine making the scene come alive. The blue in this window is striking and conveys that most holy night when Jesus was born (Luke 2:1-19).
"Jesus with the Children"
This window is as it states. Jesus is present with little children. There is a little child in each of us. The colors of this particular window are lovely. They convey a sense of security, joy, and warmth (Luke 9:46-48).
"The Miracle of Cana"
At a wedding feast, Jesus responds to his mother's request. Jesus saves a wedding celebration by working his first recorded miracle: changing water into wine. Jesus changes our seemingly disastrous occasions into times of celebration. He turns our problems into joy (John 2:1-12). Please note the detail in this window, the water turning into wine, an effect achieved by the craftsman. On the right side of the window, the color changes from light water color into purplish wine color.
This window represents the central mystery of our faith: Christ is RISEN! He conquers death. He changes defeat into triumph. The colors of this window complement the scene they convey. Early in the morning the rays from the risen Christ seem to glow and toss light into the darker church (John 20:1-10).
This window depicts the birth of the church. The Holy Spirit comes upon Mary and the disciples. Mary in this window appears to dance, filled with the Spirit of God. Tongues of fire hover above each person's head. Each is filled with the Spirit of God (Acts 2:1-13).
"Coronation of Mary as Queen of Angels and Saints"
The final window depicts Mary as queen of angels and saints. Mary was the first to bear Christ. She was the first person to believe in Christ. She is thus the first person to live in fulfillment of His promise of Heaven. Mary is the model of the church. She and we (the saints) will be united in the kingdom of Heaven (Colossians 3:12).
"I hope [a] summary of our stained glass window theme and explanation helps everyone to better appreciate the art of our church, but more importantly, the faith it attempts to represent. Faith is what we are about. Faith gives us life in Jesus' name. Live and practice your Catholic Christian faith!"
- Father Stanley A. Wyczawski (Late former pastor of St. Mary Parish)
Photos and compilation by Polly Miller