A Symbol of Welcome: Stained Glass in a New Home

April 7, 2017 12:17 am0 commentsViews: 28
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Stained Glass from St. Joseph’s Shines Anew at St. Frances Cabrini —

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced several parish mergers in Bucks County almost three years ago, among them that of Saint Frances Cabrini in Fairless Hills and Saint Joseph the Worker in Fallsington. The process of a parish merger is simple in theory, but complicated in practice. Creating a truly new faith community means more than moving people.  It means bringing traditions and elements of worship to a new setting, making it more meaningful to all the faithful. In that respect, this merger process for the new Saint Frances Cabrini Parish Community was more involved than most, and it is coming to a successful completion.

Among the many artifacts relocated from Saint Joseph the Worker Church, the most ambitious project was the relocation of a large stained glass window of the crucifixion which hung over the entrance to the former church. The stained glass was carefully removed from the entrance to the Saint Joseph the Worker church and relocated to Saint Frances Cabrini Church into what had been a solid wall of stone.

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After extensive planning and six weeks of reconstruction, the stone wall was removed piece by piece and replaced by the stained glass window, along with two huge glass doors which are now a new grand entrance into the church.

As our parishioners arrived for Mass on the weekend of April 1st and 2nd, they saw the stained glass window for the first time. Their comments included “breathtaking,” “beautiful,” “what a treasure,” “magnificent,” “such beauty,” “what a transforming addition.” Some parishioners were taken by how much more light there is in the rear of the church due to the large doors with the clear glass. Some were taken by how welcoming the church environment is with this new, grand entrance way.

Many former St. Joseph the Worker parishioners expressed their heartfelt thanks for bringing such a beautiful part of their former church to their new church. With tears, some parishioners expressed gratitude for the efforts made over the past three years to welcome them and to assimilate the two parishes. It touched them to see familiar sights from their former church, in particular this beautiful stained glass window which they had seen every time they entered their former church over the past decades.

Former St. Frances Cabrini parishioners expressed their gratitude on seeing this magnificent gift from the St. Joseph the Worker Parish Community. They were grateful for the vision in seeing how the stained glass window would fit in so perfectly and accentuate the overall beauty of our church. ■

 

—Monsignor Michael McCormac and parishioner Mariann McCormick

St. Frances Cabrini Church & Parish

325 South Oxford Valley Road, Fairless Hills PA 19030

Top photo: the stained glass in its new location at St. Frances Cabrini. (Photo by Alan J. Micklin) Photo in mid-article: the solid stone wall at Cabrini, which was dismantled to accept the stained glass. (Photo by Peter Scurlock)

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