Stained Glass Project

At the Muenster Homecoming in August 2008, the Stained Glass Window Project was launched as a fundraising effort to begin the massive restoration of St. Peter's Cathedral.  With this campaign, we hoped to raise enough money to pay for the exterior work on the church - the siding and new exterior windows as well as paying for staining  of the windows. 

The Design of the Windows

Much consideration went into the Stained Glass Window Project.  The responsibility of creating a religious stained glass window is enornous when you realize that it is a potential source of spiritual nourishment not only for our own parishioners on a regular basis but also for the many people who visit our church - people we will never know.  The care and sincerity invested in this effort was monumental.

The major concern, however, was to come up with a design for the windows that complimented, but did not distract from, the beautiful paintings and stations of the cross that already decorated the walls of the cathedral.

Elaina Adams from Prairie Glass in Humboldt was hired as the artist for the Stained Glass Window Project, Together with Elaina, the design committee of Christy Waldner and Teresa Wassermann, Fr. Daniel Muyres and Parish Council, a "landscape" theme became the approved overall unifying conception for the design of the windows.  Traditionally, saints are depicted on stained glass windows in a Catholic church.  It was hard to compete with the 80 life size saints already gracing the dome and walls of the cathedral. Given the rural location of the church and the farming background associated with the community, the landscape theme was a way to affiliate these two areas.  A  list  of religious symbols was also provided for each family to choose from. In addition, there was ample opportunity thus producing a tangible way to illustrate our thanks to God for His abundant blessings upon us. As well as encompassing the overall landscape theme in the windows, much local history is also incorporated into each window making them unique glimpses into the past heritage of the community.

To create a more serene feeling, commonalities between each window remain consistent:

  • Two borders of different colour glass outline each window with the first colour also outlining the centre portion of the window
  • Textured clear background glass
  • Blue sky with clouds and differing versions of golden rays extending from the top of each symbol
  • Natural elements incorporated into the middle panels of the window
  • A wheat stem on either side of the bottom family section
  • A more muted colour scheme

The Stained Glass Window Project and Interior Restoration

When the basic design of the large windows was conceptualized, the sponsoring families or groups began meeting with Elaina to work on their own custom design. Families and groups had input (and final approval of the design) into three areas of the window:

  • The top symbol was the family's fhoice. This could be an approved symbol that was suggested by the family or it could be picked from the list given by the committee.
  • Natural elements (such as flowers, rocks, birds) significant to the family were incorporated into the middle panels of the windows as much as the the artist could integrate into the design.
  • The bottom portion of the window is the "family" section and the area where the families or groups had the most freedom to customize this portion to make it truly unique and special to them.

When each window is installed, a blessing ceremony takes place during a Sunday Mass that is convenient to the family. A brief family history is read and an outline of the symbols included in the window is explained.

The artist used many techniques to create the windows. The bottom faily portions are foiled because of all the small details incorporated in each panel. The remaining portions of the windows are leaded which adds to the durability of the window. Other techniques include fusing, sandblasting, overlays and painting. Much care was taken by the artist to choose just the right piece of glass for each placement within all the panels.

Each of the large windows is created in 5 separate panels and is installed in front of the the new exterior windows. These panels contribute to the durability and security of the large windows as stained glass windows are heavy! A customized metal frame is screwed between each panel to hold one panel in place while the next panel is inserted into the available slot. During the installatin process, some leeway is allowed for each window as the window and window frame will expand and contract based on the season and humidity inside the church. Wooden finishing material is secured over the framing material and around the outside of the window to also help secure the window.

When all the large windows are complete, the design process will begin for the small windows. Because of the size of the windows and high location, sponsoring families will get to choose one symbol they would like to see portrayed on their window. Again because of the proximity of the windows in the church, installation of all five small windows on one side will take place at a time. Separate blessing ceremonies for the windows will be arranged with each family.

Installation of the Windows

installation of windowEach of the large windows is created in 5 separate panels and is installed in front of the the new exterior window. These panels contribute to the durability and security of the large windows as stained glass windows are heavy! The bottom panel sits inside the bottom sill and must be levelled before the next panel is placed on top.  The  support piece of metal is screwed on the top of the panel to hold in that first panel and the second panel is inserted   in behind the metal support to hold it in place. Nails are temporarily pounded in to additionally hold the stained glass panels until all the reinforcements are in place.  During the installatin process, some leeway is allowed for each window as the window and window frame will expand and contract based on the season and humidity inside the church. Wooden finishing material is secured over the framing material and around the outside of the window to also help secure the window.   The installation takes from 2 - 3 hours. Installers - Ralph Britz, Glenda Rueve, Benno Korte and Elaina Adams.   

The Stained Glass Window project campaign was successful. Thirteen months after the inception of the campaign, all 12 of the large windows and all 10 of the small windows as well as the half moon window over the front door had been sponsored. Enough money was raised to complete the exterior work of the church without taking out a loan. The commitment from the parishioners and other sponsoring parties for the restoration project was overwhelming to say the least. The Stained Glass Window Project campaign brought in a total of $241,000.

With the outside of the church repaired, resided, and with new windows installed rendering the outside of the church completely maintenance-free, we were free to turn our efforts to the inside of the church - the part that seemed  the most tangible. However, it was only after these outside repairs were complete that the interior restoration could begin.

Current Bulletin

Liturgy Schedule

Mass Times & Location

Sundays: November 1 – April 30
10 a.m. Mass, St. Peter’s Cathedral

Sundays: May 1 – October 31
9:30 a.m. Mass, St. Peter’s Cathedral

Tuesday to Saturday
8:15 a.m. Mass at Wolverine Heights in Muenster

Confession:
Sunday before church or for an appointment call: Fr. Paul Paproski, OSB at 682-1787.

Directions

St. Peter’s Church is located off of Hwy 5 - ½ km north of Muenster and ½ km east.


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St. Peter's Cemetery. 1/2 mile south of St. Peter's Church