Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Historic Windows Restored to Splendor at St. Ignatius Church

The Catechism tells us that “Genuine sacred art draws man to adoration, to prayer, and to the love of God, Creator and Savior, the Holy One and Sanctifier” (CCC 2502).

The splendor of three newly-restored windows at the historic St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Buchanan Valley is serving as that vehicle toward praise and worship within the walls of the Old Jesuit Mission.

Cast in vivid hues of gold, red and blue, the restored windows illustrate in remarkable detail the Annunciation, the Ascension and the Holy Trinity, bringing new life to the once muted and weathered windows.

“St. Ignatius Church is a delicate place because of its age and the history of the parish, and, as such, we have to care for it in a gentle and reverent way,” Father Dominic DiBiccaro, pastor, told The Catholic Witness. Known as “The Old Jesuit Mission,” the church was dedicated more than 200 years ago under the patronage of St. Ignatius, the founder of the priests of the Society of Jesus, who tended to the mission chapel and the Catholics in Buchanan Valley in the 1700s.

On Sunday, July 30, the day before the parish’s patronal feast, Bishop Timothy Senior blessed the restored stained-glass windows during the celebration of Mass.

“St. Ignatius Church is certainly not just about its history; the faith is alive and well in this community,” he told the congregation.

“We’re here to grow in our faith and to give glory to God, because we recognize that our relationship with Jesus Christ is the center of our lives,” he said.

Following the homily, Bishop Senior blessed the three windows, which were restored to their original splendor by Willet Hauser Architectural Glass in Winona, Minnesota, over the course of 18 months. In the interim, the windows were replaced with temporary acrylic panes featuring digital images of the originals.

When the project was announced, parishioners made donations and offered memorial tributes to loved ones for the restoration. The original memorial plaques remain part of the windows.

Father DiBicarro expressed his hope that the windows will draw the faithful deeper into their faith and their relationship with Christ.

“We are in the middle of a Eucharistic Revival in the Church, and to have these visible signs of God’s love in our church helps raise our level of worship and connect us even more to Our Eucharistic Lord,” he said.

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

The Annunciation is illustrated in this stained-glass window at St. Ignatius Church. It is one of three newly-restored windows.
The Annunciation is illustrated in this stained-glass window at St. Ignatius Church. It is one of three newly-restored windows.
Stained-glass window depicting the Holy Trinity. It is one of three newly-restored windows.
Stained-glass window depicting the Holy Trinity. It is one of three newly-restored windows.
Jesus’ Ascension into heaven is pictured in this stained-glass window. It is one of three newly-restored windows.
Jesus’ Ascension into heaven is pictured in this stained-glass window. It is one of three newly-restored windows.
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