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Stained Glass

Stained Glass

Stained glass creates a window to the transcendent, washing us with vibrant color, setting the worship space apart from ordinary space. Much like an icon, figurative windows inspire and draw us into a relationship with God and one another. They also draw us into stories of faith even as our own stories unfold. Using scripture stories as inspiration, the chapel’s stained glass windows call us to reflect and act in the Marianist tradition as disciples of Jesus and servants of God. These beautiful windows support our faith journey.

Michael Whapham and Garrett Pilarski of Franklin Art Glass, of Columbus, Ohio, restored a number of the chapel’s existing stained glass windows to their original beauty. These include the west wall rosettes, the four saints near the sanctuary and the east crucifixion rosette. The new glass commissioned for this renovation from Franklin Art Glass includes 10 tall nave windows, the reconciliation room window, the south pathway of discipleship windows, and the alpha and the omega rosettes on the east wall.

Nave Windows

The Spirit of our Marianist CharismNave window

As Marianists, we look to Mary, the first disciple, whose life gives us an example of how to follow Jesus faithfully. Stories of Mary in scripture lead us to Jesus and show us how to trust in and be faithful to God’s call.

Ten new windows were commissioned for the nave of the chapel, using historical photos of the original windows as a foundation for selecting design elements. A unique stained-glass medallion depicting images of Mary from scripture and Catholic tradition adorn the top of each window. Each window is 20 feet tall, and the medallions are two feet in diameter. Beginning on the south side near the sanctuary and circling toward the west and north, the medallions depict the following images:

Mary, Ark of the Covenant: Luke 2:19, 51
Mary receives the title, the Ark of the New Covenant, from early Christians who compare her to the Ark of the Covenant, which bore the precious tablets of God’s Law and symbolized the presence of God among the people. Mary bore Christ, the Word made flesh, and cherished God’s word in her heart. Her love of Christ and fidelity to his mission inspire the Marianists in their mission.

The Annunciation: Luke 1:26-38
The angel appears to Mary, declares her blessed among women and tells her that she will become the mother of the Son of God by the Holy Spirit’s power. Mary’s “Yes” to the angel Gabriel brings Christ into the world and serves as the starting point for the Marianist mission to continue to bring Jesus into the world. In a similar way, we are called to be radically open to God’s initiative in our lives, and to continue the mission of Jesus in the world, responding as Mary did to God’s call.

The Visitation: Luke 1:39-45
Mary, in her first action in mission, travels in haste to attend to her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth. She shows the Marianist spirit of hospitality and expresses joy for the work God has asked of her. Mary acts as a witness to God’s merciful nature, which supersedes the powers of the proud and rich. She also expresses her deep faith that nothing is impossible for God.

The Nativity of the Lord: Luke 2:6-14, Matthew 1:18-25
The Mystery of the Incarnation (God dwelling with us) is central to Marianist spirituality. Because God became human and lived on this earth as we do, all of human life and all of creation are blessed and have innate dignity derived from Christ. We are called to present Christ to the world as Mary did in giving birth to Jesus.

Nativity windowThe Presentation of Jesus in the Temple: Luke 2:22-40
Like Mary, the faithful heed the words of Simeon, whose canticle commends believers to trust and to rest in God’s loving, merciful hands.

The Finding in the Temple: Luke 2:41-52
Like Mary, Marianists ponder the mysterious ways of God’s presence and look to God’s wisdom, rather than human. We long to dwell in God’s house, our true home.

The Wedding Feast at Cana: John 2:1-12
Mary’s instructions to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you,” inspires us to follow Jesus, to use our gifts in service to the world and trust in God’s surprising generosity. In this story, Jesus turns water into the best wine for a wedding, illustrating God’s abundant and fruitful love.

Mary and John at the Foot of the Cross: John 17:1-13, John 19:25-30
Jesus’ farewell discourse in John’s Gospel proclaims the crucifixion to be the pinnacle of glory. Mary and the Beloved Disciple (traditionally understood as John) stand as silent witnesses to the glory of the Paschal Mystery, the Christian journey of dying so as to rise into a new life.

Pentecost: Acts 2:1-42
Mary sits, one among a diverse faith community, with tongues of flame. Inspired by the Spirit, Jesus’ disciples are sent forth to teach the Gospel, to the ends of the earth, in multitudes of ways. As the body of Christ, the Christian community exists for this mission. “The Marianist community aims to be an image of the first community of Jesus’ disciples, united with Mary and filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Society of Mary, Rule of Life, 34).

Woman Clothed with the SunThe Woman Clothed with the Sun: Rev. 12:1-6
This image has been included in iconography of Mary (including both the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe). It speaks, above all, to God’s victory over evil and to Mary’s favored place as the mother of the Savior. In Guadalupe, for example, she is depicted as more important than the sun (eclipsing the sun) and the moon (standing on the moon) and clothed in the beauty of the stars.

Pathway of Discipleship Windows

Our Identity as Disciples of Jesus and Servants of God

The University of Dayton’s educational mission places a priority on faith formation. In worship, we are invited into the Paschal Mystery of dying and rising with Christ and are transformed into the body of Christ, to live this mystery in our daily lives. 

The south addition to the chapel is called the Pathway of Discipleship. Jesus calls his disciples to keep the faith, live it, profess it, confidently bear witness to it and spread it. The stained glass art on the pathway from east to west depicts images of Jesus’ life; baptism, the Word of God, prayer, Eucharist and service. These events stand as signposts on the path of every Christian who shares in the mission of Jesus through the grace of our loving God.

Baptism windowReconciliation Room: Romans 6:1-4
Baptism, the first window in the discipleship series, is located in the reconciliation room, off the south wall of the main worship space. Through reconciliation, we enter into the death of Jesus to find new life through our baptism. Reconciliation mends our relationship with God and the body of Christ, the Church. God calls us back to this union, and welcomes us with mercy and unconditional love.

South Hallway (in order from east to west)
Word of God: Jesus is Formed by God’s Word
Luke 2:51-52Word of God window
As Marianists, we believe we are formed by Mary, the first disciple, to bring the presence of Christ into the world. As Mary formed Jesus, she forms us into faithful disciples. The Word of God teaches us about God’s relationship with humanity throughout salvation history and in our lives today. Through the Word, we understand how God loves us and how we are to love in return — with the action of our lives. This image is based on the classic image of Mary, Seat of Wisdom.

Prayer: Jesus in the Desert
Luke 4:1-13
Before Jesus entered into public ministry, he retreated to the desert for 40 days. He spent time in prayer, was tempted and showed his faithfulness to God. The desert emerges as a rich theme in the journey of discipleship. Times of challenge can be desert times — when we thirst for God, encounter temptation and undergo great change. Times of retreat and prayer strengthen us for the challenges of a faith-filled life and clarify our identity as disciples of Jesus. Jesus’ model of prayerful retreat teaches us to be people of prayer in relationship with God. Through prayer, we communicate with God. When we bring all aspects of our life to God, we find comfort, guidance and a partner on the journey.

Eucharist: Jesus Feeding Thousands
Matthew 14:13–21
Stories about how Jesus fed people are Eucharistic. They illustrate how Jesus himself becomes the bread of life for us. Jesus feeds us and strengthens us for the journey of faith in God. Celebrating the Eucharist educates us and transforms us; our faith comes alive, and we are sent forth in mission as disciples of Jesus and servants of God, one another and the poor.

Service: Jesus Washing the Feet of the Disciples
John 13:1-20
The story of the last supper in the Gospel of John is the story of the washing of the feet. Here, Jesus models humble service as the mark of a faithful disciple. When Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, he inspires us to service — as a way of being the body of Christ in the world.

Restored Original Windows

When the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1869, its beauty shone through its stained glass windows, which together cost nearly $2,000 — a veritable fortune for those days. The many that remain have now been repaired and restored to their original beauty. Along with historical photos of the original nave windows, these provided the color and design inspiration for new windows in the chapel.Original St. Peter window

The four side windows near the sanctuary contain beautifully colored representations of Saints Peter and Augustine on the north and Saints Paul and Ambrose on the south. Peter and Paul were the premier apostles who paved the way for the universal Christian mission. Ambrose served as bishop of Milan whose learned preaching inspired Augustine to be baptized. Augustine became the most influential theologian in Western Christianity.

The Easter vigil liturgy proclaims, “Christ, yesterday and today. The beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. All time belongs to him and all the ages. To him be glory and power through every age and forever.” The crucifixion rosette on the east wall overlooks the entire worship space, reminding us of the centrality of the death and resurrection of Jesus for our salvation. This original window is now the centerpiece between the new alpha and omega windows.

The windows on the west wall are richly tinted rosettes. For the first time in chapel history, these can be viewed by the entire assembly because the balcony was lowered and organ relocated for this renovation.


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