The Windows of the Chapel

The dedication prayer calls the chapel a "beacon to the world." Although nestled in woodlands, the chapel is nevertheless a luminous reminder not to put our lights under a bushel basket. The lighting plan for the Chapel can provide various creative lighting scenes in the space. The imaginative art glass windows surround the Chapel allowing our prayer out and God's light in. Wonderfully expressive of various theological themes the windows nevertheless allow for medications on the beautiful natural environment outside the Chapel.

Father Richard S. Vasko, Liturgical Design Consultant


The Resurrection Window
(The South wall of the Chapel)

The windows in the sanctuary are in a hierarchical order. Tallest, most important at the center is the arched Resurrection window and sidelights. All around this central space of the sanctuary the colors are the primaries: red, yellow, and blue. I used the most wonderful hand made glass with pure color, some with the effervescent effect of tiny bubbles or silken white. Spectrum or rainbow colors are shown all around the sanctuary in rainbow order in large squares midway up each window.

Everything comes together in the highest window in the room. At the pinnacle of strong diagonal rays, colors are enhanced by deep painted black and blues, which express something of the character of the resurrection in their intensity. The sense of release is not only upward to the sky, but also outward to the views of trees beyond the window. In all of the chapel I used varieties of textured clear glass. In this window, at the center, I used totally clear window glass so the real outside view of trees is completely brought into the space.



The windows of the Chapel create the "Wind of the Spirit"

The Sisters were particularly interested in a design with rays. The rays explode up and outward from a strong vertical mullion and which is the actual three-dimensional, structural frame.

All of the windows surrounding the sanctuary continue the design and openness to nature. Responding to the beautiful arched windows designed by Father Richard Vosko, the design
of the east and west windows continue the lines of the Resurrection but gradually move to a
more horizontal and flowing direction, "The Wind of the Spirit."

The door and transom configuration is a very unusual combination of different techniques. It is like a collage including different materials, sand blasted doors, and my hand painting of Marian Woods weeping cherry trees painted in spring 2000. It is my attempt to capture the creation of spring. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the pink cherry trees at the entry to Marian Woods and I painted spontaneously and quickly, not minding the fact that the paint dripped and splattered. My heart was in this personal creation. It was the first glass I made for Marian Woods. I inscribed it with the date.

Ellen Mandelbaum, Commissioned Artist

(To demonstrate the ""Wind of the Spirit" flowing through the Chapel, the three windowed sides of the
Chapel - actually separated by corner chapels - were connected photographically.)





The Sky Circles of Light and Praise
There are four circles high in the building facing the sky
each over one of the side chapels.



Toward the South East: "Let there be light." (Gen 1:3) This is light which comes into the chapel in the morning from the east at sunrise. The glass is a precious silver glass, which makes the golden color. [Above the Eucharistic Chapel]

Toward the South West: The "Twilight" light goes away at dusk above the Crucifixion Chapel.



Toward the North West: Flowing blue circle near the font of holy water above the Holy Family Chapel related to wind-water currents like the font nearby.

Toward the North East: Trumpets-Prayer at Easter above the Seasonal Chapel, "Praise God with Trumpet Blasts"
(Psalm 150:3)





  Throughout the day, the sunlight coming through the windows projects beams of color that constantly change position on objects and worshipers alike. It is a visual reminder of how the light of our Lord never ceases to enter our lives giving beauty, inspiration — and Peace.  




The Cupola Windows

This is an example of how the sun streams through the lovely small windows at the top of the chapel when the sun comes up in the morning — slowly illuminating the rich wood of the ceiling beams.

Though many spiritual comparisons are possible, the presence of our Lord flooding our soul with Peace — seems most appropriate.




Some concluding remarks from the Artist

My process as an artist is to be open to beauty and inspiration so I was in tune with Creation as the overriding theme for the chapel. . . . I loved doing this work, which took almost two years. I am grateful to the Sisters for encouraging me to do my best, and grateful that I was inspired to do it. With this strong spiritual lineage I hope what I created for you will be a good setting for your belief. I am deeply touched that you will live with it and use it every day. I hope it will serve you very well.

Ellen Mandelbaum, Commissioned Artist