“Catholic” saints in stained glass

“Catholic” saints in stained glass

When you worry about how bad things are in your own parish, how tooth-grating the music is, or how banal the homilies, take heart that however bad it is there, it could be worse. Today’s case study is St. Ambrose “Catholic Community” in Buffalo, New York, whose web site showcases its stained glass windows and describes their meaning. I’m particularly fond of the Prophecy window:

Two of the most important faith proclamations to emanate from the Second Vatican Council, LUMEN GENTIUM (LIGHT OF NATIONS) and GAUDIUM ET SPES (HOPE AND JOY) moke it clear that every Christian Py [sic] virtue of baptism is charged to be a “priest and prophet” - to worship fully and proclaim the Word of God in daily life. The prophetic role, speaking God’s truth at any cost, has played an important role in the history of the Church and does so especially today. This window is dedicated to Prophets. The dominant figure is that of St. Ambrose, patron of this parish. He was a fearless defender of God’s Word in the fourth century. On the lower left side of the window is the picture of Cardinal Henry Newman [sic], the prominent educator and preacher, convert to the Church in the last century, On the right side of the window is a cluster of three modern prophets: Rev. Martin Luther King, Caesar Chavez and Sister Thea Bowman, Sister Thea died in 1991 after spending her religious life promoting Black Catholicism, Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement in New York City, is on the lower left. The last of the prophetic figures is positioned at the bottom of the window. He is Mahatma Gandhi, the Hindu lawyer who became a symbol of pacifism in the struggle for his people’s independence.

Okay, if they didn’t want to use biblical prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, or John the Baptist, they couldn’t at least find Catholic, or even Christian prophets? Gandhi as a prominent figure in a Catholic stained glass window? How about Archbishop Oscar Romero? Liberals usually love him because he was a Latin American killed by right-wing death squads. I could think of a dozen better selections off the top of my head.

See, don’t you feel better about your own parish now? Unless of course this is your parish. In that case, sorry.

Technorati Tags: ,

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli