Peaceable Kingdom Depicted at St. Peter the Fisherman, Two Rivers, WI

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

December 01, 2022

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity highlight a stained-glass window from St. Peter the Fisherman, Two Rivers, Wisconsin entitled the ‘Peaceable Kingdom’. Father William O’Brien, pastor at the time of the church’s construction, reflects on this artistic depiction perfect for the Second Week of Advent.

Fr. William O’Brien transformed his farmland creating Curran Spirituality Center on County Road KB, five miles east of Denmark in the small town of Curran, Wisconsin. The center is open year-round to visitors.

Theme of the Window

The theme of this large window is The Peaceable Kingdom based on Isaiah’s 11:1-9 Biblical prophecy.  This is the first Scripture Reading for the 2nd Sunday of Advent.  At the time of our project construction of this beautiful Church we named this The Children’s Window.  This window cost $90,000.00 and children of the parish with their donation of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters raised over $20,000.00 to help pay for this window.

Goal of Peaceable Kingdom Window

The goal with this window was to have Isaiah’s cosmic vision offered as an example of the possibilities of God’s Kingdom.  A world rejoicing in peaceful harmony should be for all Godly believers, a desired goal in the midst of troubles and very often violence that is afflicting all of humankind in so many varied ways.  The hope presented by the vision in this window gives a much different viewpoint of the violent world we live in and daily experience.  This window is meant to be an encouragement that believers live the values described by Isaiah, and are the teachings of Jesus Christ that we be caring, respectful and responsible people.  The decision of our building committee was to have this Peaceable Kingdom Window depict the Old Testament prophecy about the coming of the Messiah and the kind of justice and peace He would bring.  God is the hope of His people who are crushed by misfortune, but the promised Messiah will be the champion of all those in need, whatever that need may be.

Prophets Lived in the Real World

The prophets of old lived in the real world and were just as dismayed by its horrors and injustices as we are today.  Yet they had a dream of a new world, a world free from injustice and war.  That is the message of the Peaceable Kingdom Window, a most meaningful, inspirational aspect of beautiful St. Peter the Fisherman Church.  We pray and trust in a God who lovingly protects us by standing for the poor and the powerless.  We live with the promise of a new day, and Jesus coming is our hope for a blessed time of peace, not just for Israel but for the whole world, including the animal kingdom.  What a powerful image, the wolf and lamb at peace.

‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord’ is an annual Advent theme.  This is easily said and sung, but what does it mean?  John the Baptist chose a radical and self-renouncing way to prepare to meet his God, and to help others also prepare themselves to meet God.  Every age has much to learn from the lifestyle of John the Baptist, and believers have much to learn from the scene message of this Peaceable Kingdom Window.  This window is meant to be a vision we must all aim for, while also doing our best to resist all the things that pull us apart as a human family.  Life, we are all in this together.  We need to work to make the peaceable Reign of God a reality.  It is God’s work we do.  Peace be with you.

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