Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 27, 2009
St. Andrew's completes its windows
Final image depicts St. Faustina who called for Divine Mercy devotion
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON – Vibrant greens, blues, reds and yellows mix together in colourful patterns overhead, adding exuberance to a west-end church.
In celebration of its 75th anniversary, St. Andrew’s Parish has been installing stained glass windows over the past seven years.
Of the 21 new windows that have gone into the church, Tom Bradshaw said, “When the sun is shining brightly, they look beautiful.”
Bradshaw, 85, has played a leading role in the project since its inception in 2002. “I was on parish council at the time, and I undertook to investigate this and get it organized, and follow it through until today,” he said.
This was a venture not taken lightly since each window cost about $16,000 to produce. However, many parishioners donated windows as a lasting memorial for a departed loved one. Similarly, both the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Women’s League paid for windows.
Among the “saints” honoured in stained glass are Mother Teresa, Father Michael McGivney, Pope John Paul II and St. Francis of Assisi.
“The cooperation of the parish has gone over fantastically. We sold all of the windows in no time, but it’s taken all these years to produce them,” said Bradshaw.
“Putting in windows in memory of past parishioners and priests was one of several reasons for wanting stained glass windows in the church. Another reason was to express the faith in trying times. Showing a physical manifestation of our love for God and outward signs of pride in the church were also factors in deciding to pursue the project.
“Why should we have stained glass windows?” asked Bradshaw. “The first reason I had was to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our church.
“The second reason was to contribute to the completion of this beautiful church, built by those who came before us. The third reason was to honour and respect God’s presence in his home.”
Father Vic Perron blessed the last window on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19. Divine Mercy Holy Hour was 3 to 4 p.m. Parishioners prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
The window, paid for by the parish’s Divine Mercy Group, depicts St. Faustina Kowalska, a 20th-century Polish saint. Excerpts from her notebook were read aloud to parishioners.
St. Faustina was said to have seen and spoken with Jesus and Mary several times. In 1931 she said that Jesus appeared as the king of Divine Mercy, wearing a white garment.
Again in 1935 St. Faustina had a vision that was later dubbed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. The chaplet’s prayers for mercy are threefold: to obtain mercy, to trust in Christ’s mercy and to show mercy to others.
A painting of the Divine Mercy image was also blessed at St. Andrew’s. The image shows Jesus in a white garment, with his right hand raised in blessing.
His left hand touches near his heart where two large rays come forth, one red, the other pale. The two rays denote blood and water.
St. Faustina called for the establishment of the Divine Mercy devotion. She lived in Krakow, where the future Pope John Paul II later became the archbishop. He was happy to promote this devotion.