April 29, 2022

Stained-glass windows enhance Marian’s St. Joseph Chapel

St. Toribio Romo, left, Mother Theresa Hackelmeier, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Martin de Porres and St. Pope John Paul II are portrayed in the new stained-glass windows in the St. Joseph Chapel of Marian University in Indianapolis. (Submitted photo)

St. Toribio Romo, left, Mother Theresa Hackelmeier, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Martin de Porres and St. Pope John Paul II are portrayed in the new stained-glass windows in the St. Joseph Chapel of Marian University in Indianapolis. (Submitted photo)

By Glendal Jones (Special to The Criterion)

Breathtaking is one way to describe the new stained-glass windows in the St. Joseph Chapel of Marian University in Indianapolis. The artwork includes stunning images which depict saints throughout the world and reflect the diversity of the Marian student body.

“The new windows offer a chance for many to think about what the windows represent,” said Adam Setmeyer, vice president of mission and ministry at Marian. “The windows of the St. Joseph Chapel invite everyone—students, faculty and staff—to reflect on their journey toward God. I am especially excited that the saints reflect the diversity on our campus and in the Catholic Church.”

The chapel features a main piece of stained glass, which arrived months ago and is located in the arched window over the northeast-facing doors. In phase two, the stained glass in the windows and doors on the southeast side of the chapel were recently installed and tell an important story for all Christians.

“There is no one way to follow Jesus Christ, and these windows teach and encourage us to use our gifts as his disciples,” Setmeyer added.

The arched window is inspired by the great Franciscan work, “Journey of the Mind to God,” by St. Bonaventure.

The five vertical windows on the southeast side of the chapel depict vibrant paintings of Mary Immaculate and St. Joseph, Mother Theresa Hackelmeier, St. Toribio Romo, St. Martin de Porres, St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. John Paul II, saints from different cultures and backgrounds.

Setmeyer said it was important that the windows depict the diversity of Marian University’s student body, and he hopes the windows will also encourage students to explore the stories of these saints further.

The window of Mother Theresa Hackelmeier, the foundress of the Oldenburg Franciscans, depicts the historic areas of ministry of the sisters, who founded Marian University in 1851.

“St. Pope John Paul II represents their ministry to youth; St. Martin de Porres recognizes their work with African Americans; St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint, represents their work with Native Americans and their care for creation; and St. Toribio Romo represents their work with the Latino community,” Setmeyer noted.

Inspired by its beauty, Indianapolis Archbishop Charles C. Thompson blessed the chapel in August of 2021.

Marian University freshman Briana Black said she was in awe when she saw the windows.

“As an African American student, I was really impressed and inspired with the beauty and the detail surrounding the windows,” Black said. “I really appreciate the fact that the windows have a diverse theme that everyone can relate to.”
 

(Glendal Jones is the manager of communications in the Office of Communications and Marketing at Marian University in Indianapolis.)

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