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January 13, 1989     The Message
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January 13, 1989
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana January 13, 1989 III I A new liqht shining Parishioner designs stained glass windows at Precious Blood, Jasper By MARY T. ELLERT Message Staff Writer There's a new light shining on Precious Blood Church, Jasper, and it shines through the stained glass windows made by parishioner Gerry LeMastus. The new windows give the church "a different color tone," according to Sister Marym Gootee, S.P., pastoral associate. The light is softer, and it "seems warmer in church," she said. Precious Blood Church was built in 1957 as a "gym church." Father Joseph Kane, pastor, described it as a "good space" for worship, except for the original gym windows which gave it "overtones as a gym." Besides the windows' lack of aesthetic quality, there was the problem of glare. A "tremen- dous" amount of light poured through the plain glass win- dows on the sanctuary wall the the four glass side doors. It was so uncomfortable that people would have to move to different pews so they could see the altar. Also, the glare was noticeable on wedding pictures taken in the church. The 35 new stained glass windows "make it look more like a worship area," said Father Kane. He said "everyone is real thrilled" about the windows. They fit in so well with the church interior that he was ask- ed by one parishioner, "Have they always been up there?" LeMastus explained how she got involved in, the window project. Around five years ago, she was teaching art classes at Precious Blood School. One of her projects was helping her students make window "sun- catchers" with a liquid stained glass overlay. Father Kane ap- proached her with the idea of using this same technique to make new windows for the church. At first, LeMastus was hesi- tant because she had never made anything bigger than the small sun-catchars. But looking around at the finished win- dows, she commented, "They're holding up real well." The charter member of Precious Blood parish describ- ed the process by which she made the windows. With the help of Sister Gootee and Father Kane, she drew the design for the windows. She put glass over the drawings, and outlined them with liquid lead. Once the leading was dry, she filled in the spaces using eye-droppers filled with the liquid stained glass. The window designs are more detailed than if they were made with cut stained glass, and the process is "a lot faster," said LeMastus. Besides fitting in with the church decor, the new win- dows follow the theme of the parish. The parish name, "Precious Blood," symbolizes that Jesus Christ gave his life for us, according to Father Kane. He said the new windows carry out this central theme of salvation. On the four side doors are an- cient symbols of the Eucharist: the cup of salvation, the sacrifical lamb, loaves and fish and the pelican feeding her young. On almost every window in the church is the cross. On one wall, the 12 windows show the various ways the cross has boon depicted in art. There is the Bethlehem cross, the Greek cross, Byzantine cross and Celtic cross -- to name a few. On the opposite wall, twelve windows depict the history of the church -- illustrating the creation of the world, Christ's birth, events in his life, his death, Pentecost, the early Christian church, Judgement and Eternity. Traditional sym- bols used in these windows in- clude the dove, bundles of wheat, butterflies, a ship and the rainbow. On the back wall of the church, the salvation theme is carried out in three windows. The phrase "Take And Drink My Precious Blood Given For You" is on the windows, along with more traditional symbols of salvation. Although the windows are new, the symbols on them are "all very old," according to Sister Gootee, explaining all of them can be found throughout Christian art and in old Euro- pean churches, she said. In medieval cathedrals, stain- From/eft, Sister Marym Gootee, Father Joseph Kane and Gerry LeMastus teamed up to design the new stained glass windows at Precious Blood Church, Japser. LeMastus, a charter member of the parish, used liquid stained glass to make the windows. The window above is one of three carrying out a theme of salvation using the phrase, "Take And Drink My Precious Blood Given For You." -- Message Photos by Mary T. Ellert ed glass windows were called the "poor-man's Bible," because they would illustrate Bible stories for people who couldn't read, explained Sister Gootee. They were the "visual expression" of what was being proclaimed at the pulpit. Simarily, the new windows at Precious Blood are a visual expression of the scripture. They also bring to "people's minds some of the long-used symbols of the church," said Sister Gootee. It would be impossible for LeMastus to tally the number of hours it took for her to make the windows. Her generous dona- tion of her time and talent is "symbolic" of many other parishioners who use their gifts to help Precious Blood parish, according to Father Kane. This stained glass window depicts a ship -- an ancient symbol of A group of windows at Precious Blood Church symbolizes the life the church. It symbolizes the people of God who are underway -- of Jesus. This window depicts Jesus' public ministry of preaching between the two shores of this life and the next. The rainbow and the Good News. The book symbolizes the scriptures; the lamp is a dove are signs of God's continuing providence amid storms. The sign ofknowiedge; the flame stands for the light of Christ shining two keys on the sail are the keys of Peter -- the first pope. i/t the darkness. ............ . ................ ......,,,,:..:..,,,..,.,,,. ........................................ . ......... liiN '| FAMOUS BRANDS FOR LESS.FuRN,TURE - CARPET - APPUANCES I H O ME 0 UTFITTERS I "Y' "- JASPER-LOOGOOTEE-WASHINGTON i!:i! !i I NEw sToRE OPEN,NG ,N V, NCENNES