This guide follows the stained glass windows in the nave of our lower church. The symbols depicted in these windows have inspired thought and prayer for many generations of Catholics at Saint Patrick’s. What do you see in the windows, and what prayers do they inspire in you?
The Window over the Parking Lot Door
The window over the parking lot door depicts a hand holding a shamrock. This represents Saint Patrick, our patron saint, who is traditionally said to have used the shamrock to illustrate the truth of the Trinity to the people of Ireland in the fifth century. Like the window over the Salem Street door, this window reminds us of the eternal love of God, and our Christian vocation to share that love with all people.
Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – we thank You for all the gifts You have given us, particularly the gift of our Catholic faith. Help our parish to grow in union with You and one another, both now and eternally!
The First Window
The First Window includes a thurible – the metal container in which incense is burned during liturgies. Incense is used both to reflect the holiness of liturgical acts and objects and to symbolize prayer rising to God. Saint Patrick Parish is very powerfully a community of prayer. God reaches out to have a vibrant relationship with each of us.
Through prayer, we respond to God’s initiative by lifting our minds and heart to Him.
Through prayer, we grow in communion with God, both listening to Him and responding to him from the depths of our beings.
Loving God, you are the source of all good. You continually pursue us in love. Deepen our prayer lives, so we may know You more closely and find all fulfillment in You.
The Second Window
The Second Window has at its center the Ten Commandments, surrounded by symbols of the eternal power and glory of God. Through the Ten Commandments, God revealed to His Chosen People the path of life – the law of how to live in union with God and other people. Jesus both affirms the permanent importance of the Ten Commandments and reveals through Himself their ultimate meaning.
We are called to live God’s commandments as fully understood through Christ.
Lord Jesus, You reveal to us the full law of God’s love. Bless us in our commitment to following this law. Forgive us our sins, and give us the grace of moral purity.
The Third Window
The Third Window includes symbols of Christ’s passion and the Eucharist. At the top of the window, there is a ten-pointed star. When Jesus is born, His coming is announced to the world through the brightness of a star, shining in the darkness. Jesus is the Light of the World, ultimately dispelling all darkness. When we choose to live as Jesus’ disciples, we become the instruments of His light, both breaking the darkness of people’s lives and pointing them to Christ.
In Lawrence today, we are aware of much darkness. Disciples of Jesus at Saint Patrick’s strive to be instruments of His light in our local community.
Dear God, You revealed the coming of Your Son to the world by the light of a star. Help us to live Christ’s light in our city. Dispel the darkness that separates us from You.
The Fourth Window
The Fourth Window depicts Jesus as the Lamb of God, resting on the seven-sealed book associated with God’s eternal judgment in the Book of Revelation. As Christians, we seek goodness, joy, strength, and meaning each day of our earthly lives. We also believe that these realities reach their fulfillment only in heaven.
Actively engaged in this present world, we also continually seek our ultimate goal: eternal life with God.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world and offer us the path of salvation. Give us the grace to follow You as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Lead us to eternal union with You in heaven.
The Fifth Window
The Fifth Window includes symbols associated with the teaching of Christ – the Word of God, the cross of a bishop, and the traditional triple tiara that represents the authority of the Pope. We believe that the revelation of Christ is passed on from generation to generation through the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit.
One of our greatest responsibilities as a parish is to understand and share the authentic teaching of Christ. Saint Patrick’s faith formation efforts for people of all ages are uniquely important ministries.
Spirit of God, inspire us and guide us with Your truth. Open our hearts and minds to a greater understanding of Your revelation, and move us to more actively share that revelation with the entire world.
The Sixth Window
The Sixth Window depicts a pelican and her young. In the Middle Ages it was thought that pelicans, in times of famine, would pierce themselves and feed their young with their own blood. The pelican therefore became a symbol for Christ’s pouring out His life for us and His nourishing us with His blood in the Eucharist.
If we choose to live as Christians, we live this same selfless love with our brothers and sisters in need. Through our Cor Unum Meal Center and many other service initiatives, members of our parish actively sacrifice the gifts God has given us in service of our brothers and sisters in need.
God our Father, we recognize the physical needs of so many of Your children in our community. Give us the inspiration to share Your gifts with all in need. Help us to grow in Your Son’s selfless, sacrificial love.
The Seventh Window
The Seventh Window includes multiple images associated with the Eucharist – wheat, grapes, a host, a chalice, an altar, and a heart enflamed with love. We recognize that God calls some of us to serve continually at His altar as ordained priests. All baptized people share in the common priesthood of Christ – serving as His ministers in the world. Ordained priests are given the vocation from God to dedicate their lives to ministering to the entire Church, serving in the name and presence of Christ for the whole community.
We are in great need of holy priests in the Church. We should expect – and constantly pray for – many vocations to the priesthood among the young people of Saint Patrick Parish.
Dear Jesus, give our young people the grace to recognize Your call to the ordained priesthood. Give them the joy and strength to say “Yes!” to that call, and bless us with more holy priests.
The Eighth Window
The Eighth Window shows the hands of a man and woman united in marriage. Jesus teaches that from the beginning God created men and women to be united permanently in marriage. God is the source of married love. Through the sacrament of matrimony, Christ offers the grace for married couples to grow together in Him toward eternal life.
In Lawrence today, marriage is unfortunately rare. One of the most important missions of the members of Saint Patrick Parish is to live and share the truth of Christian marriage in a community that is in great need of witnessing its reality.
Lord God, you have made marriage a unique experience of Your love. Help us to grow in living Christ-centered marriages, and make us powerful examples of married love in this world.
The Ninth Window
The Ninth Window depicts a monstrance in which the Eucharist is exposed. The Eucharist is at the center of our lives. Through the Eucharist, Christ fully offers Himself to us, and enters us to help us grow in union with Him.
For Saint Patrick’s to thrive as a parish – for us to be the community God calls us to be – we must commit ourselves to faithful celebration of the Eucharist. We believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is the source and summit of everything we do as Christians.
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank You for the gift of Yourself in the Eucharist. Keep us faithful to our celebration of the Eucharist, and help us more actively reach out to Your children who do not currently gather at Your table.
The Tenth Window
The Tenth Window is filled with symbols of Mary. God chose Mary to be the mother of His Son. She is therefore truly the Mother of God and our Mother. Mary is our great model of holiness. By reflecting on her life, we grow in understanding Christ and ourselves.
Mary is our powerful intercessor in heaven. We constantly turn to her in our prayer to seek the assistance we need to grow as faithful followers of Her Son.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
The Eleventh Window
The Eleventh Window focuses on the “theological virtues” – faith, hope, and charity (love of God and neighbor). These realities are gifts we receive from God in baptism. They grow in us as we choose to live our lives as disciples of Jesus.
Faith, hope, and charity are daily experiences of the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. These virtues give life to all our good moral choices, and shine in the world for others to witness the power of God.
God our Father, we thank You for the gifts of faith, hope, and charity. Help us to live more deeply these virtues, and by doing so to show Your love to the world.
The Twelfth Window
The Twelfth Window includes symbols related to Jesus’ triumph over evil through His passion, death, and resurrection. Jesus remains faithful to living His Father’s love through the most terrible passion. By doing this, He restores the full power of life and love to the world. Jesus is clear that His disciples will also experience a passion in their lives. He invites us to take up our crosses and imitate His love. If we do this, He will lead us with Him through the passion of this life, and bring us with Him to eternal life.
Dear Jesus, in the passion of our lives, we turn to You for salvation. Strengthen us to follow more closely Your way of love, and lead us to the power of Your resurrection.
The Thirteenth Window
The Thirteenth Window is focused on a baptismal font with flowing water. Through baptism, we are freed from sin and born anew as children of God. We become one in Christ and are filled with His Spirit to live as members of His Body, the Church. Jesus tells us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28.19-20). At Saint Patrick’s, we recognize that Jesus’ commission challenges us to evangelize the entire community in which we live – to actively share His Word with all other people, so they may make the choice for Christ and be fully incorporated into Him through baptism.
Lord Jesus, increase our understanding of the new life You have given us in baptism. Give us the grace to more actively share our faith with all people, especially those who do not yet know You.
Window Over Salem Street
The window over the Salem Street door has at its center the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet – alpha and omega. From the Book of Revelation, we know that the combination of these letters – the beginning and the end – refers to the eternity of God and Jesus Christ. God is the beginning and end of our existences. Jesus offers Himself as the beginning and end of every moment of our lives. Everything we do at Saint Patrick’s is meant to begin and end in the Lord.
Dear God, help us to live in You as the beginning and end of our lives. Help us to grow as a parish increasingly focused on knowing You and doing Your will.