A beautiful collection of stained glass windows was developed in our Church building in honor of Former Pastor Monsignor Michael J. Regan; these were blessed on December 2nd, 1989 by Most Rev. Eugene A. Marino, S.S.J., D.D., Archbishop of Atlanta. Built and installed by the studios of Lynchburg Stained Glass, Lynchburg, Virginia (Artist: Richard A. Buswell). Our sincere appreciation to the families and friends of our Parish, whose generosity provided these windows.
Una preciosa colección de vitrales se construyó en honor del antiguo párroco el Monseñor Michael J. Regan. El Arzobispo de Atlanta, Monseñor Eugene A. Marino los bendijo el 2 de diciembre de 1989. Los vitrales fueron construídos e instalados por los estudios de Lynchburg Stained Glass en Lynchburg, Virginia. (Artista: Richard A. Buswell). Nuestro profundo agradecimento a las familias amigos de nuestra parroquia, cuya generosidad hizo posible estos vitrales.
| Our Lady of Perpetual Help
STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
Blessed December 2, 1989
Most Reverend Eugene A. Marino, S.S.J.,D.D.
Archbishop of Atlanta
In Honor of
our Beloved Pastor
Reverend Monsignor Michael J. Regan
Tom Mucheck, Parish Council President 1988-1989
Dr. Virginia M. Meehan, Parish Council President 1989-1990
PARISH WINDOW COMMITTEE
David R. Schoerner, Chairman
Henry C. Setter, Art and Liturgical Coordinator
Anna M. Fazio Walter H. Lewis
Mary Anne G. DeVillier Mary J. Farish
BUILT AND INSTALLED BY THE STUDIOS OF
LYNCHBURG STAINED GLASS
ARTIST: RICHARD A. BUSWELL
In sincere appreciation to the families and friends of ourparish, whose generosity provided these windows
Significantly, the role of the Virgin Mary in the mystery of Christ and His Church became the final chapter of the Vatican II document on the Church. This same chapter inspired the choice of Marian themes and iconographic symbols appropriate to her which appear in the stained glass windows of the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Liturgically, stained glass windows are not necessary, but they can serve as a means toward meditation and contemplation during the respective liturgical seasons. These windows were designed to remind the parishioners of the dynamic function of the Virgin Mary in the Redemptive mysteries of her Son. One perspective visualizes Mary’s cooperation in the plan of God. From another perspective, Mary is contemplated as the “Model of the Church.” That is, she is also one of us. Her exemplary faith, hope and charity command imitation on our part. Mary has already achieved by God’s grace that to which we aspire- full union with God the Father through His Son in the Holy Spirit.
Historically, stained glass windows of the Gothic period were called the “Bible of the Poor,” because then there were no private copies of Sacred Scriptures. All biblical texts until Gutenberg’s time (the 15th century) were hand-lettered and illustrated in the Scriptoria of convents and monasteries. Also, few medieval believers could read Latin, the language of the Scriptures. Consequently, artists provided Scriptural representations in colorful window designs.
Currently, the expression “Bible of the Poor” can be relevant in an evangelical sense if we become poor in spirit, as Jesus proclaimed in the sermon on the Mount. To contemplate the divine mysteries depicted in the windows, our eyes must be bathed by the radiant color, our minds must be open and uncluttered, and our hearts unfettered and eager to embrace the truths presented.
Technically, the windows reflect contemporary methods of construction and materials. Formerly, thin glass sheets were set in lead “cames” (grooved channels). Today, “slab glass” anchored in reinforced epoxy refracts light uniquely because of its greater thickness. Actually, “stained glass” is a misnomer. Although it is possible to stain the surface of glass yellow (by heat and silver oxide), slab glass is “pot metal,” molten glass colored chemically through and through by metallic oxides. Not uniform in thickness, slab glass usually ranges between 7/8’s to 1″.
Antique glass, because of its thinness, permitted the artist to paint fine detail with “grisaille,” a gray wash which is then baked on the glass. In time, grisaille can flake off; it can also be scratched easily. In contrast, slab glass requires a bolder designing approach: The silhouette of shapes requires great simplicity. Further, it is impractical to paint details on thick slab glass.
Window No. 1:
“I exult for joy in Yahweh;
“My soul rejoices in my God,
“For he has clothed me in the garments of salvation;
“He has wrapped me in the cloak of integrity.”
This mystery celebrates the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary from the moment of her conception in the womb of Anne, her mother. Mary’s preservation from original sin stems from God’s eternal plan that she would be the Mother of the Divine Word in the mystery of the Incarnation. Moreover, Mary’s sinless state from the moment of conception is a singular grace bestowed by God. The absence of sin makes Mary “full of grace” from her very beginning. It is important to note that Mary is the infant held by Anne.
The unicorn, a legendary horse-like animal with a single pointed horn, is a traditional symbol of innocence and purity. As a trademark of chemists, the unicorn signified the non-contamination of their goods. As a Christian image, the unicorn signifies the wild, horned animal which can be tamed only in the presence of a sinless virgin. As a biblical image, the horn of the unicorn is the symbol of strength. In the Psalms, God is identified as “my horn of salvation,” because ritual anointings are, poured forth from a horn (Psalm 18:3; 92:10; and Luke l:69).
The lily, a flower mentioned rarely in Sacred Scriptures except for its frequency in the Song of Solomon, is also a symbol of purity. Mary’s sinlessness among mankind is depicted “as a lily among thorns” (Song of Solomon 11:2).
In the lower register, the Sacrament of Baptism is portrayed by the sea shell from which water flows to cleanse believers from the sin of the human race. The three crosses symbolize the Trinitarian formula of this sacrament, which restores the believer to God’s grace.
James and Virginia Conrads and Family
Window No. 2:
“Gabriel said to her:
‘Rejoice, highly favored Daughter!
The Lord is with you ….
You are to conceive and bear a son,
and you must name him Jesus.’ ”
– Luke 1:26
Gabriel appears at left as the hand bearing the cross, the sign of our Redemption. Mary prayerfully receives the message of God’s New Covenant. Encircling Mary is Noah’s rainbow, the symbol of God’s earlier covenant (Genesis 9:9-17). The Trinity is symbolized by the hand of the Father; the dove, as the Holy Spirit: and, at the level of Mary’s abdominal womb, a flower suggests that Jesus is born of the Tree of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1).
In the lower register, Mary’s virtue of Prudence is depicted by the traditional oil lamps of the five wise virgins. In Mary, the Virgin Most Prudent, the divine oil burned brightly in her soul to enlighten all her decisions.
David and Joanna Schoerner
Window No. 3:
“Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.”
– Luke 1:39-40
Mary and Elizabeth embrace. The hand of the Precursor, John the Baptist, points to the Lamb of God. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (above the two women), Elizabeth prophetically declares, the unique blessedness of Mary among all women and the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb. The liturgical reading for this feast comes from the Song of Solomon, which cites “flowers appear” -Song of Solomon 2:12.
In the lower panel, Mary’s exemplary Charity is symbolized by the heart enflamed and emblazoned with her initial. Despite her own state of maternal expectancy, Mary hastened to assist her cousin Elizabeth.
Roger and Elaine Schoerner
Window No. 4:
“But for you who fear my name there will arise the SUN OF JUSTICE with its healing rays.”
– Malachi 3:20
Mary places the new born infant Jesus in the animal trough. Joseph is present in the symbol of the flowering rod to the right of Mary. In the devotional literature called “apocryphal” gospels, Joseph appears at the Temple among suitors of the Virgin Mary. Each young man has left a tree branch with the High Priest. According to legend, whosoever’s branch budded was the providentially appointed future husband of the special Virgin Mary. The flowering rod also reminds us that the lineage of the ancestors of Jesus were traced through the family line of Joseph. In the top right corner, the morning sunrise bursts upon the scene as the “Sun of Justice.” To signify that heaven and earth are joined by the mystery of the Incarnation, the vision of Jacob’s ladder of ascending and descending angels appears on the left.
Below the Nativity scene the sacrament of Holy Orders is represented by the chalice and Scriptures. Jesus Christ became a priest on the night of His birth. Also, Christmas means “Christ’s Mass.” The German “Weihnachten” literally means “Ordination Night”.
Presented in Loving Memory of
The Deceased members of the Farish and Bedient Families
Window No. 5:
PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE
“When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the lord.”
– Luke 2:22
Simeon holds Jesus aloft and proclaims the Child to the promised Light of the World. Now Jesus will replace the Menorah, the seven-branched lamp stand which to the Jews was the symbol of the presence of God’s light. Jesus is dressed in green priestly vestments: green is the symbol of hope. To complete the ritual of purification, forty days after the birth, Mary and Joseph offer two turtle doves as the sacrificial gift of the poor,
In the lower frame is the prophetic image of Simeon:
“You see this child: he is destined for the fall and the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a SWORD WILL PIERCE YOUR OWN SOUL TOO.”
The pierced heart symbolizes Mary’s heroic virtue of Fortitude.
Presented in Loving Memory of
Lou and Mary Benchina
Window No. 6:
“After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judea
During the reign of King Herod,
Some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east.
‘Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked.”
Mary is seated on a regal throne. Jesus is enthroned on Mary’s lap. Wearing a royal crown, He holds an orb of the world in his left hand and blesses with his right hand. The Star of Jacob offers cosmic radiation upon the Gentile world. The three Magi are identified by their specific gifts: The treasure box contains gold, the appropriate gift for a king; the, censer contains frankincense; the vase, myrrh – both significant offerings to Him who will be both priest and victim.
The lower register depicts the Marian virtue of Faith: Her entire life was marked by faith. The Virgin Mary is the bearer of the Light of the World. The star, the cross, and the crown symbolize her faith in the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.
Peter and Theresa Warenzak
Window No. 7:
FLIGHT TO EGYPT
“After the Magi had left, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, ’Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt….’ ”
– Matthew 2:l3
Mary, with the Christ Child, sits astride the mule. Joseph is their dutiful guardian and guide. At the top, cross-like, is the Egyptian Ankh sign, symbol of life. To the left of Joseph are cut and broken flowers to signify the slaughtered children of Israel. It was in the land of death and of the life after death that the Holy Family sought refuge from the infanticidic Herod.
The lower panel of this window represents two related sacraments: the sacrament of penance and the sacrament of the sick and the dying. The keys of the kingdom symbolize the power of the Church to forgive and heal here on earth.
In Loving Memory of
Ava Frances Sewell Plunkett
By Her Husband and Family
Window No. 8:
FINDING OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE
“Three days later, they found him in the temple,
“Sitting among the doctors,
“Listening to them,
“And asking them questions.”
– Luke 2:46
The temple appears in the top left as a dome shape. The young twelve year-old Jesus, with an upraised teaching arm and hand position, sits amidst seven rabbis, symbolized by seven oil lamps which lack flames. In the top right, within a trefoil clover, are the traditional symbols of the Most Holy Trinity, the source of His wisdom.
Mary’s virtue of Justice is depicted in the lower register: Mary bore no prejudices. She rendered to each his due and sought to alleviate inequities.
Charles and Sarah Irle
In Loving Memory of Their Son Eric
Window No. 9:
WEDDING FEAST AT CANA
“Three days later there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there.”
– John 2:1
Mary is shown in an intercessory position to the left of Jesus. The festive wine has run short. Jesus responds positively to his mother’s prayerful request. From his hand into one of the six wine jars water flows. From the horizontally placed wine jar, a wine-colored liquid flows. Mary’s intercession was heeded by her son: The water turns into wine.
Obviously, this mystery at Cana serves to illustrate the sacrament of Matrimony, symbolized by the intertwined wedding rings.
Mr. and Mrs. Donald R. Ginnity and Children
Window No. 10:
THE LAST SUPPER
“Then he took some bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body which will be given for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ He did the same with the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood which will be poured out for you.’ ”
The Latin lyrics of a Marian hymn say, “Hail True Body born from the Virgin Mary.” Jesus here is portrayed amidst His Twelve, He holds the bread and the cup. The Apostles are represented by eleven bright stars and one dull star. Spikes of wheat and clusters of grapes are the natural sources for the Eucharist.
The lower panel depicts the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the form of the Paschal Lamb, which for the Hebrews was the ancient sign of deliverance. The Passover feast is the setting for the New Pasch (deliverance).
Walter, Marie and Tina Lewis
Window No. 11:
CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION
“Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.”
Mary – the biblical “woman” of Genesis and Revelations – stands to the left and the favorite disciple, John the Evangelist, to the right of the Jeweled Cross, a Greek cross with five diamond-shaped jewels for the wounds of Jesus’ hands, feet and side. The nails of the Passion remind us of the reality of Jesus’ death on Golgotha-literally, “Hill of the Skull.” Christ’s victory over death is signified by his Resurrection – the Jeweled Cross theme.
The Resurrection theme is reinforced in the lower register, where the symbol for the virtue of Hope is Jonah and the whale. Jesus-Jonah-like – spent three days in the bowels of the earth before arising to life.
Presented in Loving Memory of
Window No. 12:
“All these joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus . . . .”
“When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire.”
– Acts of the Apostles 1:14; 2:1-2
Mary is centered amidst the flames of the Twelve Apostles. (Matthias had already been elected to replace Judas.) The dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit, hovers at the top. It is here that the Church is ratified by the dynamic action of the Holy Spirit.
At the bottom, the Sacrament of Confirmation is suggested by the hands of imposition and the jar of anointing oil.
Presented in Loving Memory of
Dr. James I. Vansant
Window No. 13:
ASSUMPTION AND CORONATION
“Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
– Luke 1:45
In 1950 Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption. In this window the Son of God crowns His Mother. Mary becomes the reassurance of God’s promise: what she has already achieved, the faithful can also anticipate.
Anna M. and Ettore G. Fazio
Window No. 14:
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
In December of 1531 the Virgin Mary appeared to an Indian convert to Christianity at Guadalupe, near Mexico City. Hearing his name called, “Juan Diego” looked up to observe a dark-haired Madonna with bronze skin. Her blue veil and white robe were bathed in an aureole of golden light. She requested Juan Diego to inform the bishop that he was to erect a shrine to her on the hilltop site, where at this unseasonable time of the year Mary had caused roses to bloom in the barren earth. Gathering the miraculous roses into his tilma (a long cotton shirt worn by Indians), Juan opened his arms; out fell the flowers, revealing on his garment the imprinted image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
In the lower right corner appears an architectonic version of the popular Mexican deity called Quetzalcoatl, a feathered serpent. Montezuma II, King of Aztec Mexico, misread the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadores as the fulfillment of the thousand-year-old Toltec prophecy concerning the return of the plumed snake. In fact, Spanish missionaries introduced Christianity in 1521, just ten years before Our Lady’s appearance to Juan Diego.
Given by Undine R. Head
In Loving Memory of Carl B. Head
Window No. 15:
OUR LADY OF LOURDES
To an unlettered, poor girl, the Virgin Mary appeared in a cleft in the rocks. (Her name, Marie Bernarde Soubirous, is better known as Bernadette.) The year was 1858. Her visionary accounts provoked skepticism until the apparition of March 25, when Mary identified herself as the “Immaculate Conception.” The civil and ecclesial authorities then recognized that this poor, ignorant, girl could not have made up this title, for only four years earlier in 1854 had Pope Pius IX proclaimed This mystery as a dogma of faith. The authorities were certain that neither Bernadette nor her fellow peasants of Lourdes were fully appreciative of the ratification of this title by the Virgin Mary herself. The message to Bernadette was simple: pray and meditate the mysteries of Our redemption through therosary.
The fleur de lis at upper left is a twofold symbol: it is the traditional coat of arms of France; it also is a symbol of the Virgin Mary’s innocence and purity. Fleur de lis means “lily.”
Presented in Honor of Our Blessed Mother by
Jubal and Nancy Watts and Children
Window No. 16:
OUR LADY AS EXEMPLAR OF THE CHURCH
Vatican II documents reaffirmed the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as the mother of all the church. The Blessed Virgin stands out in eminent and singular fashion as exemplar both of virgin and mother. The church indeed contemplating her inner sanctity, imitating her charity and faithfully fulfilling the Father’s will, by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. The window depicts Mary standing on the moon, adorned with the sun (Book of Revelation 12:1) with arms outstretched over the church as represented by St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. As the moon reflects light from the sun, Mary shines forth as the model of virtues to the whole church. The dove reminds us that Christ, Mary’s son, was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin.
Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter VIII: Our Lady
This window was blessed by the newly appointed Archbishop of Atlanta, Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, 6th Archbishop of Atlanta, at confirmation on January 21, 2005. Our Lady of Perpetual Help was the first confirmation conducted by Archbishop Gregory in his new appointment as Archbishop of Atlanta.
O.L.P.H. Parish Family
Window No. 17:
The two windows of the Eucharistic Chapel (often referred to as the “cry room”) draw from traditional symbols. The Paschal Lamb is inspired by the new and old covenants. For the Hebrews, the Passover required a Pasch meal of a lamb. On the same night in which Jesus celebrated the Hebrew Passover, He then instituted the New Covenant with the Eucharist. In the Book of Revelations Jesus is again identified as the New Paschal Lamb. (Revelations 5:6) Also, this Book emphasizes that the Divine Word becomes present through the sacred readings of the Eucharistic liturgy.
In Loving Memory of Joseph and Grace Connell
And Mary Kay Rollins
Window No. 18:
EUCHARISTIC BREAD AND WINE
Jesus chose such simple elements for the gift He gave in the Eucharist. The spikes of wheat remind one of the bread that becomes food; the grapes, the wine that becomes drink. Under such simple signs, Jesus becomes sacramentally present: “Take and eat . . . . Take and drink of this cup.”
O.L.P.H. Parish Family
Henry Setter, Art and Liturgical Coordinator, November 29, 1989
Electronic, updated version of document (2007) prepared by Javier E. Hasbun and David J. Boldt