All Are Welcome In This Place
How the Stain Glass Rose Windows and The Welcome Mosaic came to be for Our New Church
All of us have enjoyed watching our new church, off North Park Drive, take form over the last several months. Long before the land was cleared and any structure emerged, several months of planning took place.
One group that has been meeting, planning and selecting the interior of the church has been the Liturgical Design Committee. Donna Rueby, a member of that committee, has shared her time and talent in helping to create the beautiful and inspirational rose windows and the welcome mosaic.
“The images that were used on the rose windows did not come from just one person,” Donna said. “It was a collaboration of information that gave consideration to the designs, such as the Holy Spirit speaking through each member of the committee and listening to their comments, the remarks shared by parishioners in the early Capital Campaign surveys, reading of scriptures, spending time praying before the Blessed Sacrament, reading and reflecting on Pope John Paul II encyclical to artists and reading ‘Art and the Bible’ by Francis A. Schaeffer, as well as researching church art in stained glass.”
After reviewing all the comments and research Donna concluded the basis of what the designs of the windows should reflect.
“Historically stain glass windows told a story through the symbols and imagery used,” Donna added, “We wanted the art work in the windows to be a liturgical expression of praise to God in and of itself. The windows also needed to be pleasing to the eye, yet inspirational. I also wanted the designs to reflect our loving faith community of St. Martha.”
The themes for each of the rose windows are: The Holy Family Window, reflecting the full story of our faith from Christ’s incarnation; The Eucharistic Window, illustrating Christ’s willingness to be the Lamb and giving us the gift of the Eucharist, and The Trinity Window, mirroring Christ’s triumph and glory in His Kingship with His Father in Heaven and how He pours His graces to us through the Holy Spirit.
“When I reached the point of putting pencil on paper, something wonderful happened as I began to develop the ideas,” Donna said. “You think you are in control and know exactly what you are going to do, but the Holy Spirit has a different idea and takes the design to the next level and creates something lovely and exciting
It was inspiration that formed the design for the Welcome Mosaic, which will the centered focal point in the front of the church.
“Monsignor Chester Borski, Pastor of St. Martha, had a vision of what the mosaic design should emulate,” added Donna. “The mosaic’s design is rich in symbolism and reflects several Biblical passages.”
Three crosses, which are centered in the top of the design, reflect our current church, which is our first home. The three crosses also remind us of Christ and the two thieves and how daily we have the decision to deny or to follow Jesus. The gold mosaic tiles in the crosses reiterate the resurrection and Christ’s promise to all of the salvation that comes through the crosses we carry in our own lives.
The deer, water, and trees in the design reflect the passage “As the deer pants, for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Psalm 42: 1-2 As a community of faith, we are like the deer longing to be refreshed and our thirst quenched by God’s grace, as well as the water represents the cleansing water of baptism.
Jesus’ outreaching hands extends an invitation to all of us to join Him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28 the wind is blowing Jesus’ hair illustrates how Jesus is the breath that moves the winds. His face is contemplative, with kind and gentle eyes that look straight at each of us.
The rendering of Jesus was to bring out as much light and brightness as possible. It is to capture the strong contrast of light on His face and hands, because His is the light of the world. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12
The people in the foreground of the Mosaic illustrate the diversity of our parish family.
The Welcome Mosaic is just that, an invitation from Jesus, eager for us to come together as one, to give us the gift of himself through the Eucharist, which we celebrate through love for one another and community.
Capital Campaign Coordinator
St. Martha Catholic Church
281-358-6637 ext 280
281-358-7973 - fax