Over the summer of 2013, seminarian Christopher Bethge was assigned to St. Kevin. Our pastor, Bishop Chappetto, asked Chris to write descriptions of our beautiful stained glass windows. We share his work with you here alongside photos of the windows. Click the "i" in the lower left hand corner of the photos for the descriptions.
Evangelists: Matthew and Mark
In the sanctuary we have the images of the four Evangelists. On either side of the altar we have windows portraying Matthew, Mark ...
Evangelists: Luke and John
Luke and John. What is particularly interesting about these windows is that the Evangelists' eyes are intently focused on something. The gaze of the Evangelists communicates to us the deep truth of Divine Inspiration: the gospels do not simply give us the opinions of four men, but they are truly the Inspired Word of God.
In the beautiful window over the side entrance on 194th Street we see a depiction of Moses. Moses has two tablets containing the commandments in his hands. On one tablet are the first three commandments that are meant to ensure our right relationship with God. On the other tablet are the remaining seven commandments that govern our relationship with others. This window also captures the burning bush, as we are able to see the bushes are set ablaze and yet remain unburned. A third remarkable aspect is the way that the water parts around Moses just as it parted the Red Sea to prepare a way for the Israelites to escape.
Over the side entrance by the parking lot on 195th Street, is a window of St. Peter. This window contains all that we would expect in a depiction of the Vicar of Christ. He is firmly standing in a boat, the Bark of Peter, which very clearly symbolizes the Church. The window also portrays the keys, symbolizing the power given to Peter by Jesus to loose and bind. Also pictured in this window is the cock that crowed when Peter denied Jesus, which is a subtle reminder to us that despite our past, we can always return and stand firmly in the Bark of Peter, Christ's Church.
Jesus and St. Thomas
This window captures the very moment when St. Thomas sticks his hand into Jesus' side and proclaims boldly, "MY LORD AND MY GOD." What is particular to this window is the absolute look of shock that is on the faces of the other Apostles.
Jesus before Pilate
Pilate sits on a throne, the symbol of the earthly authority, and he clearly looks stronger. Jesus is standing there looking vulnerable, but by taking up His Cross He takes on the ultimate position of authority, the authority of holiness. The Apostles in this window also seem outraged by this, but who among them is willing to follow suit?
Render to Caesar ...
The Scribes and the Pharisees are obviously outraged in this depiction of the famous scene in the gospel. Jesus is holding the coin, and this portrays the fact that no matter how powerful Caesar may be, God is always in control.
Healing the Blind Man
The people in the outskirts of the scene really tell the story because without saying anything or playing an active role they are obviously very interested in this man, Jesus, Who is going around curing the sick.
Birth of Jesus
In this window we see the manger, and it is perfectly centered so that all of the attention and focus in on Baby Jesus lying in that manger. The star shines brightly and the people gaze at Him … it is a beautiful source of meditation.
Baptism of Jesus by John
In this window we have John the Baptist baptizing his cousin, Jesus, in the River Jordan. This is a beautiful window and it has the dove representing the Holy Spirit hovering above the waters. This window also captures the phrase that is heard: "This is my Beloved Son with Whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him."
Jesus Teaches the Our Father
Jesus is in the center, with his hands in the "orans position" - in the position of prayer - and He teaches us a fundamental truth of our faith: that we should have the courage to call God "Our Father."
Woman Caught in Adultery
Jesus kneels down to the ground and writes in the dirt. The woman caught in adultery is being persecuted, and Jesus warns the crowd that the one who is without sin should cast the first stone.
Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem
This is a very colorful window capturing the green of the palms. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on an ass, and this window captures the scene when He enters as King before He mounts the greatest throne, the Cross.
Looks of horror on the onlookers, faces of shock and deep sadness, especially in the face of Mary. The window has lightning to emphasize earth's outcry. The two thieves are in this window, but it is interesting that they are not crucified with nails; rather, they are tied up. It also presents the Roman soldiers casting lots for Jesus' clothes.
Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Simeon and Anna are overjoyed at the ancient prophecy being fulfilled - Anna is literally dancing with joy to the Lord! Mary and Joseph look on. In his hand, Jesus holds the turtle dove that had to be offered. Mary is also in an interesting position, having her hand over her heart, which Simeon prophesies will be pierced with a sword of sorrow.
Become as Little Children
In this window we have a man, one of the onlookers, pointing to Jesus. This is a posture that we must all take - to point to Jesus Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. In this scene Jesus has also called His children close to Himself.
The Empty Tomb
The Central Mystery of our Faith is presented beautifully, with the angels telling the women that Jesus is not there, that the tomb is empty and that He for Whom they are searching is no longer among the dead but with the living.
The Child Jesus
This beautiful window captures the hidden years of Jesus, the years when Jesus matured under the guidance of Mary and Joseph. It is amazing to see the Child Jesus working so closely with His parents.
In the choir loft we have an absolutely stunning window of the Transfiguration, where the light of the Father shone brightly around the Son of God, Jesus Christ. In this moment we are also told: "This is my Beloved Son."
Fathers of the Church
In the sacristy, there is a window depicting four great Fathers of the Church: St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome and St. Gregory. St. Augustine is depicted with a flaming heart, which symbolizes the ardor of his piety. St. Ambrose is shown with a beehive; it is said as a child a swarm of bees settled on his face in his cradle and left behind a drop of honey, which became associated with his "honeyed tongue." The lion shown with St. Jerome recalls his life in the wilderness. St. Gregory is shown with his Papal tiara and a dove, which was present when he dictated his homilies.