The Stained Glass Windows of
Saint Benedict Catholic Church
Stories from the Past, Present and Future
Continued from page 2
The Rose windows are metaphorically the "Beginning" and the "End".
The Rose window above the altar-table, with the amber and purple representing
bread and wine, symbolizes the "Blessed Sacrament of the Altar," the
Eucharist. This celebration brings parishioners together to honour Jesus'
sacrifice and memory and to "break bread" in assembly. This theme ties
also to the Eucharistic Chapel where Sattler's studio has created an
elegant curved glass wall. The curve of the glass and wheat pattern
on it focus our attention on the Tabernacle, by softly framing it. This
wheat pattern continues along the straight glass walls that separate
the chapel from the nave.
Inside the chapel, four new stained glass windows help create an oasis
for prayer and meditation. These windows, entitled "New Life Through
Change," represent the seasons of life, In the first window, just as
we are given life through Jesus'
Resurrection, new life springs forth from a seed. The second window
shows a young branch of leaves, representing youth and the future. In
the third, there is a fully-grown mature tree, full of energy and purpose.
And in the last window is an old tree rich with the experiences of
faith and life; below are different seeds, which symbolize the continuing
circle of life. At the bottom, the waters of the river of life run through
the four windows. Gently, these windows create a quiet space for pause
In the two Reconciliation rooms, there are new Saint Benedict windows.
These windows celebrate the attributes of this influential monk who
is famous for writing the Rule of St. Benedict. He recognized and promoted
the value of work - manual labour as well as education. Therefore his
monks became builders, farmers, skilled tradesmen, scholars and writers.
So he is shown with a book and a shovel. There are also several stories
associated with his life that are symbolized in these windows.
The broken glass refers to a time when he was almost poisoned when
offered something to drink; he blessed the glass and it broke before
he could drink. The thorn bush alludes to his ability to resist temptation
and live an austere existence. The bird represents his softer side,
because it is said that one would come from the neighboring woods to
be fed by St. Benedict each day at dinnertime.
At the Baptismal Font, a dove representing the descent of the Holy
Spirit has been painted on clear glass and rests on the wall opposite
the ambry, which is also made of clear glass, like the interior chapel
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