The Resurrection of Christ: Stained Glass Windows at Saint Francis Xavier Church, Burbank, CA

The Resurrection of Christ Jesus

The Resurrection of Christ Jesus

Here is the last window in the series on the set of nine stained-glass windows from Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, CA. This next window is The Resurrection. I hope you have enjoyed this series. The text that follows is from a booklet I wrote in 2000 and edited by Jim Fanning. 

The entire Christian life begins and ends with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this image, the Tree of Life sprouts from the leaping waves of water– our new baptismal life. All the sacred images of these windows are rooted in the Resurrection. Jesus’ life continues in us and the Church. The figure of Jesus is Resurrection, but also suggests the Ascension. The outstretched arms of Jesus hint at his death on the cross but are also a gesture of prayer, welcome and embrace, inviting us into eternal life. The entire Paschal Mystery is summed up in this figure of Jesus.

 

Icon: The empty icon reminds us of our future and the hope of continuing revelation of God. The empty icon is for all of us to fill in! See hope, all future is in the Resurrection promise of Jesus Christ!

The Holy Spirit and Pentecost: Stained Glass Windows at Saint Francis Xavier Church, Burbank, CA

The Holy Spirit and Pentecost

The Holy Spirit and Pentecost

Here is the eighth window in the series on the set of nine stained-glass windows from Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, CA. This next window is The Holy Spirit and Pentecost. I hope you enjoy the series. The text that follows is from a booklet I wrote in 2000 and edited by Jim Fanning. 

The sacred images in stained glass are not only about the past. The Holy Spirit is present in us and the Church today and tomorrow. This Pentecost image reveals God’s animation of the Christian people. The Church in great diversity comes together through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The fire and dove unites the people in conversation and prayer. The Spirit is invisible but gives life if we know it or not, signified by children looking away.

These icons are taken from Sacred Scripture, Revelation 5. “The Lamb that was sacrificed is worthy to be given power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing.”

Icons: Upper Left: The hand showers blessings.  Upper Right: Crown of glory and lamp of wisdom.  Lower Left: Hands of blessing and laurel wreath of honor. Lower Right: Sacrificial lamb; chair and scepter of power and strength.

Oral Tradition: Dark water: Notice the “dark” water in the blue waters of baptism on each window. This is to suggest sin and division in the human experience of being Church. Sin is washed away in baptism. Ferris wheel: One of the ways the parish community of St. Francis Xavier has expressed unity, fun, common work and energy, has been through the annual Old Tyme Country Faire. Our faith community is alive in God. Lance and shield: The parish school and its active role in the faith community is symbolized by these signs of faith and strength, indicative of the school nickname and sports team title, The Lancers. Oil lamp and book: The burning flame and book of Scriptures symbolizes the divine inspiration and preached and proclaimed faith of the parish.

Jesus and Mary: Stained Glass Windows at Saint Francis Xavier Church, Burbank, CA

Mary and Jesus

Mary and Jesus

Here is the seventh window in the series on the set of nine stained-glass windows from Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, CA. This next window is Mary and Jesus. I hope you enjoy the series. The text that follows is from a booklet I wrote in 2000 and edited by Jim Fanning. 

In this contemporary and compassionate image of Jesus and Mary, we have spiritual access into their relationship as mother and child. Notice Mary’s hand extended to suggest our invitation into her love and compassion. The gesture of her hand also patterns the cross to tell us the reason we remember Mary and the other saints–the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. The child’s foot is beginning to move away from the relationship, indicating the life and ministry of Jesus that was yet to come.

There are many images of Mary. Each culture has special symbols important to many people. These images speak to us at various times in our own lives depending on our emotions and needs.

Icons: Upper Left: The Immaculate Heart of Mary speaks of her compassion toward us. Upper Right: Mary, Queen of Heaven, the first person to receive the promises of the Risen Christ, an eternal home. Lower Left: Mary, the Mother of God. The birth of Jesus offers compassion and hope to all parents. Lower Right: Mary, Mother of Sorrows, the Pieta, speaks of human suffering, grief and loss. Images of Mary speak to all our human emotions.

Holy Orders and Matrimony: Stained Glass Windows at Saint Francis Xavier Church, Burbank, CA

Holy Orders and Matrimony

Holy Orders and Matrimony

Here is the sixth window in the series on the set of nine stained-glass windows from Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, CA. This next window is the sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony. I hope you enjoy the series. The text that follows is from a booklet I wrote in 2000 and edited by Jim Fanning. 

Immediately we see in this window both of these sacraments of love and service in view of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Marriage and ordination in the sign of the cross signifies our vocations are in Jesus Christ and within the Church. The two hands of marriage are in a bond of hope and fidelity. The two hands of the priest are in prayer for the Christian assembly.

Icons: Upper Left: The boy and girl hand in hand under the fruit tree suggest children are the fruit of marriage. From generation to generation, the promise of God’s covenant is passed down in love and commitment. Upper Right: The elderly couple witnesses to the Christian community God’s fidelity and commitment. Love is lived in many forms depending on the various times of life, including the embrace of suffering and ill health. Lower Left: The table and chair are the center of communion and fellowship both at home and at church. The table is the place where families grow together, and in the church where the presider leads the prayer of the Eucharist, helping the parish family grow together. Table fellowship unites families, both at home and in church. Lower Right: This is the window of our vocations in the Catholic Church. This icon offers us a view of the tools- computer, paintbrush, hammer, scissors, briefcase- of our many vocations. Our daily work is sacred. The work of our lives, our hands, our minds is divinely guided.

Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation: Stained Glass Windows at Saint Francis Xavier Church, Burbank, CA

Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation

Today, November 13, the Church celebrates Mother Cabrini, the first citizen of the United States to be canonized. I thought it would be appropriate to offer the next window in this series. The parish church was built on land once owned by Mother Cabrini’s sisters. The parish was named for her name sake, Jesuit priest, Francis Xavier.

Here is the fifth window in the series on the set of nine stained-glass windows from Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, CA. This next window is the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation. I hope you enjoy the series. The text that follows is from a booklet I wrote in 2000 and edited by Jim Fanning. 

These two sacraments of healing serve the Christian community in times of illness, suffering and recognition of sin and forgiveness.

We encounter the healing spirit of Jesus. These window images show the oil of the sick (OI) in the sacrament of anointing and Jesus’ classic parable of the reconciliation, The Prodigal Son. The son comes running home in shabby clothes and the father receives him with open arms. Notice the shadow of the cross and the arms forming the cross shape to recall that all healing and forgiveness is rooted in Christ’s passion, death and resurrection.

Icons: Upper Left: Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. We are called to model that gesture in service to all people. The community experiences this action, the healing gesture, every Holy Thursday. Upper Right: The broken heart speaks so clearly of God’s love for us. In our brokenness and pain, we rest here in God’s forgiveness and healing passion for us. We bring here the desires of our hearts. Lower Left: The tears of pain, suffering and loss and tears of healing and rejoicing are human experiences of needing God. This window names our experience of longing for God, claiming our deepest human relationships. Lower Right: The sick bed offers us insight into our own pain and suffering. This scene call us out of ourselves to serve those who are sick and alienated from the community. The sacrament of the sick calls people to prayer and compassion for the sick and dying.

The Eucharist: Stained Glass at Saint Francis Xavier Church

In early 2000, I designed the concepts for nine stained-glass windows at Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, CA. Here is the fourth window, The Eucharist. Below is the text from a brochure I wrote interpreting the windows. The text was edited by Jim Fanning.

The celebration of the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life. This window, in great simplicity, focuses our attention on the proclamation of the Word and the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup. Through the action of the Eucharistic Liturgy, we build the Christian community, feed the spiritually hungry and form our common conscience. We become the Body of Christ on earth.

Icons: Upper Left: Boys and girls from our parish are altar servers at the Sunday liturgies. The processional cross and candles lead the ministers to the altar, the center of the community, symbolic of our procession to the kingdom. Upper Right: The Sacred Word of God is proclaimed by Lectors, lay women and men who share the story of God’s salvation with the assembly. Lower Left: The Eucharistic Ministers enhance the celebration of the Eucharist by feeding the assembly with the Body and Blood of Christ. We minister to one another in many ways that serve the Christian assembly. Lower Right: One significant way we express Christian unity, our communion with one another, and our celebration of liturgy, is through singing. With the sound of our voices in prayer, we join our hearts and lives in the celebration of God’s presence.

 

Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini

Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini-
First American Saint

Last week I started a series on the set of nine stained-glass windows from Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, CA. This next window honors Mother Cabrini. I hope you enjoy the series. The text that follows is  from a booklet I wrote in 2000 and edited by Jim Fanning. 

The history of Saint Francis Xavier Church is rooted in the life and faith of the first American saint, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini. On property owned by the religious community she founded, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, sprouted the faith community of St. Francis Xavier Parish. This window reveals the historical background of education, healing and a missionary zeal that burned bright in Mother Cabrini’s life. Within the central image of the window, Mother Cabrini is surrounded by children and adults, which speaks of her life interests in teaching the young and caring for the sick. A man on crutches focuses us on her founding of hospitals and her compassion for the infirm. A woman in native Italian dress suggests Mother Cabrini’s roots in Italy, as well as the Italian heritage of many of the founding parishioners at St. Francis Xavier. A little girl carries a bouquet of flowers, which speaks of the purity of sainthood.

Icons: Upper Left: Mother Cabrini’s Shrine on the property of St. Francis Xavier Church. Mother Cabrini prayed in this chapel, which at the time was on the hill above the church property. Upper Right: The ship on the high seas speaks of the many journeys Mother Cabrini made from Italy to various parts of the world. Travel was difficult for her, yet it bore much fruit for the United States and the Church. Lower Left: The book reflects Mother Cabrini’s love for learning and teaching, and roots her life in the Scriptures. Lower Right: St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit missionary and our parish patron, greatly influenced Mother Cabrini’s missionary zeal and spirit.

Cross and Anchor: The Congregation of Holy Cross

Cross and Anchor: The Congregation of Holy Cross

On September 14, the Church celebrates The Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This is not the feast day of our religious community, the Congregation of Holy Cross. Our feast day is the next day, September 15, Our Lady of Sorrows. However, in 2000, I designed nine stained-glass windows at Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, California. The first window, The Cross and Anchor: The Congregation of Holy Cross, was installed and dedicated on Sunday, June 25, 2000. This was the last time our community celebrated the Eucharist before leaving the parish after 46 years. I begin the series of nine windows today as the Church reminds us about the Holy Cross. The text that follows is from a booklet I wrote in 2000 and edited by Jim Fanning.

The cross and anchor, representing the Congregation of Holy Cross, the religious community that helped found the parish, forms the guiding metaphor for all nine windows. The cross becomes the Tree of Life, all connected to vines growing from window to window. The anchor rests in the baptismal waters, which flow from image to image, connecting all Christian life to Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Our common baptism guides us through the nine images of sacraments and faith.

Icon: Upper Left: Guided and inspired by the Word of God, the preachers help form the Christian community. Icon: Upper Right: Notice that there are two right hands. One hand represents the divine inspiration of God, while the other hand represents the teaching of the Church, which is passed down through all who lead us in faith. Icon: Lower Left: The celebration of the Eucharist is the living, forming center of the Catholic Church. This chalice and host indicates all the presiders of the Eucharist past, present and future. Icon: Lower Right: 1954, the founding date of St. Francis Xavier Parish by the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Hidden Images: Oral Tradition: Shamrock: Unites us with the Irish Holy Cross priests who were the founders of the parish. The shamrock also symbolizes the University of Notre Dame, the home of the priests who served St. Francis Xavier Parish until June 2000. Trowel: A symbol of the founding fathers, the builders of the parish. In the year 2000, the trowel represents the early stewardship of Rev. William O’Connor, CSC, the second pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish. Heart: Loving relationships have built the Church. In the year 2000, the heart reflects the warmth of Rev. Michael Couhig, CSC, the pastor who initiated the development process for the windows as a celebration of the Jubilee Year of 2000. Upside Down Bushel Basket: Through the years creativity has led the parish through much change. In the year 2000, the basket reflects the creativity of Rev. Ronald Raab, CSC, who in the late 1990’s preached a homily with a large bushel basket over his head and who designed the concepts of these nine windows.