Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 10, 2002
Daysland dances within
Our Lady of the Prairies crafts its own artwork
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Together with his parishioners, Father Larry Pederson, constructed and installed a stained glass window at the church here, Our Lady of the Prairies.
The window, titled The Dance Within, is filled with theological symbolism.
Two hyperbolas that intersect forming the fish - a sign of Jesus Christ - are the main features of the window. The upper hyperbola represents the transcendent God. The lines of the hyperbola as they move upwards open up wider, depicting the infinite depth of the mystery of God.
The transcendent God represented in the upper hyperbola reaches down with his love and intersects the lower one representing humanity.
They called the piece, The Dance Within, showing that God dances with his creation through the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is also depicted in the upper portion of the window, within the full presence of the transcendent God, but also representing the Church, the people of God, as model and example of faith.
"It was quite exciting and got my creativity to the limit. A lot of energy certainly went into it," Pederson told the WCR.
Pederson, together with his work crew, was challenged at times to get the right design and to incorporate ideas into the window.
"It was a great experience for me and the team that constructed it. We learned a lot together, faced a lot of practical problems but all worked out pretty good."
When the 92.5 inch diameter window was installed May 7, people responded positively. "Both the elderly and the young ones find the piece just exciting to look at. They enjoy the colours and the mysteries of our faith that are expressed in the window."
The time spent on design, planning and construction added up to 473.5 hours. Pederson began the design two years ago, but executing the project actually began on Jan.6 and was finished the first of May. The team began working at 5:30 in the afternoon and sometimes finished as late as 3:00 a.m.
Theresa Steil, one of the members who made the window, had heard Pederson worked in stained glass. She encouraged the artist to make a design of a window to put in their Church.
Through the use of different liturgical colours, the separate liturgical seasons are depicted in the piece.
The image also portrays the prairies on both sides of the window, as well as symbols of the sacraments of initiation - Baptism and Confirmation.
Joan Florean, Theresa Steil and Evelyn Guhle assisted the priest in building the window, while other people in the parish helped in different ways.
Together with other parishioners, the Knights of Columbus in the parish supported the project financially.
What excited the priest is that it is a homegrown project: they did it together with the people of the parish instead of having a stained glass window maker company do it.
Pederson has been working in glass as a hobby for 25 years. He has also made his own furniture from the old pews of the original church in Wetaskiwin.