Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 5, 2004
Stained Glass tells Christ's story
Three years of labour creates St. Albert windows
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
As Catholics get ready to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, St. Albert Parish is getting ready to unveil a set of eight large stained glass windows that depict the key moments in his life.
Sherwood Park artist Brenda McLachlan has been working on and off on the project for the past three years.
The set begins with the Annunciation, when Mary receives word from the Angel Gabriel that she was to give birth to Jesus, and ends with Pentecost, when Mary and the disciples receive a message from the Holy Spirit to spread the Good News.
McLachlan and husband Dale installed the window depicting the Resurrection just before Christmas. In it, an energized Christ is shown outside of a tomb carrying a victory flag. "We see him completely restored; triumphant," said McLachlan, who designed the project.
It took her about six weeks to complete each set at her Sherwood Park studio. Each scene on the life of Christ is set on three smaller windows, which made the work "challenging" as it broke the scene in three parts. The project cost close to $60,000. Parish families and organizations paid for each window.
Over the past 20 years, McLachlan, a Catholic and a mother of two, has done cut stained window art for a number of churches and Church institutions, including the Star of the North Retreat Centre in St. Albert, St. Dominic Savio Parish in Edmonton and a Ukrainian Catholic Orthodox Church in Vegreville. She began doing residences but now does mostly churches.
She is proud
She is proud of her work at St. Albert Parish. "It's such an honour to be part of this," she said. "It's a privilege for an artist to be part of Christ 2,000 years after he walked the earth and to keep the events of his life alive."
She also feels she is helping restore the art the Church lost following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. "So much (art) was taken out. The churches became bare and I feel I'm helping to bring it back."
Oblate Father Andrzej Stendzina, the pastor for the past two years, wasn't around when the project was commissioned, but he likes what he sees. "It brings a sacred dimension to the whole building," he said. "It also has an element of education because it tells the important aspects of Christ's life."
The eight sets on Christ's life are part of a large project, which includes cut stained windows depicting the sacraments above the main entrance door and four more windows yet to be completed. The remainder of the project could be completed within two years.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.