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Diocesan News

Stained glass windows recognize pioneers

By Paul Paproski, OSB


MUENSTER, Sask. — St. Peter’s Parish, Muenster, has an addition that gives the parish a sense of completion. Twenty-eight new stained glass windows commemorating pioneer families and the religious who once served them have been added to the church. The windows were installed during the renovations of the church, Christy Waldner said to 150 people gathered Nov. 22 at the St. Peter’s Parish celebration in recognition of the completion of renovations and the installation of the windows.

The church is an historical building that was built in 1910 and it is famous for its 80 life-sized frescos, painted in 1919 by Count Berthold Von Imhoff, an artist originally from Germany. The sanctuary honours the saints, and now they are joined by the pioneers and the Ursulines, Franciscans (Elizabethans) and Benedictines, said Waldner, who serves on the St. Peter’s Parish fundraising committee.

The large stained glass windows in the lower sanctuary incorporate a landscape theme which complements the rural district. The theme was chosen after consultation with Elaina Adams of Prairie Glass, Humboldt, who designed the windows and installed them.

“Elaina once mentioned to us that she thought her strong point was choosing glass for the windows. I would agree with her. Look closely at the windows and the colours and textures and swirls of the glass, and the detail the glass itself lends to the image or shape it is representing,” Waldner remarked.

Families were given the opportunity to choose religious symbols and customize their windows with natural landscapes familiar to them. Window designs incorporate local history which gives a glimpse into the past and offers thanks for God’s abundant blessings. The two choir loft windows, The Good Shepherd and Our Lady of Guadalupe, emphasize themes of colour, she said. The upper windows, in the main body of the church, have symbols that are meaningful to their sponsors. The semi-circular window above the back door of the church displays the keys of St. Peter. The four windows in the sacristy incorporate the four seasons. A Bible verse is displayed on the bottom of each.

The project at St. Peter’s Parish was successful because of the tremendous support of the parishioners who gave generously of their time and money, Ralph Britz, project supervisor, said. He expressed his appreciation to those involved in the painting of the sanctuary. Britz, 82, joked that it was a challenge to climb scaffolding that went 20 - 35 feet high. Similarly, it was a challenge working with carpenters who did not speak English. The two carpenters who came to install the siding on the church were from Quebec and only understood French. However, they worked very well with everyone, he laughed.

The renovations, which were completed in October, began in 2008 with improvements to the church’s exterior foundation. In the spring of 2009, new windows, doors and outside siding were installed, as well as new outside steps. Five windows that had leakage problems were removed from each of the church towers and sealed. Some improvements were made to the roof to correct water seepage.

Work resumed on the church sanctuary in the fall of 2009 and it continued from October to May each year until 2012. Repairs were made to the sanctuary ceiling and walls which had cracks or peeling paint. The church was repainted using some new colour schemes. The Stations of the Cross were repaired and repainted. The side altars and radiators were given a fresh coat of paint.

Attending the celebration were Elaina Adams; Rev. Daniel Muyres, OSB, pastor during the renovations; Louise Sarauer of Saskatoon, an original member of the fundraising committee; and the other two committee members, Glenda Rueve and Teresa Wassermann. A DVD presentation was given of the history of the renovations. The evening concluded with the blessing of the windows, tours of the parish, dessert and fellowship.

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