Celebrating All Saints Day: Images from Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis Parishes

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

October 28, 2023

As we celebrate All Saints, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity highlight stained glass windows at The Church of St. Mark, St. Paul, Minnesota, St. Mary Basilica, Minneapolis, Minnesota and The Church of St. Patrick, Edina, MN. If you are looking for a special pilgrimage during November, these are beautiful places for prayer and inspiration.

Saints of God, St. Patrick, Edina

Designed and made by Willet Studios of Philadelphia for St. Patrick Parish, Edina, Minnesota, the stained-glass windows of this sacred space were donated by the parishioners and made with brilliantly-colored glass chips. St. John Neumann, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Martin de Porres, St. Patrick and St. John XXIII are depicted. You may be able to identify others. DeAnn Brandel, Communications Manager, shared information from the parish’s archives.

Why these saints?

St. John XXIII was the reigning pontiff from 1958-1963 which falls between the time this particular church was first relocated in its present site in 1961. The window was a means to honor this time of history and his being our Catholic Church’s leader. It was he who said it was time to “open the windows and let in the fresh air.” His depiction now also recognizes this beloved Holy Father’s canonization as a saint in April of 2014.

St. Patrick was an obvious choice of the people.  By the 1870s, 17 families, most of them immigrating as a result of the Great Famine of Ireland, had come to this southwest section of the then Richfield Township. St. Patrick was revered as the Apostle of Ireland. That this parish church in the United States would be named in remembrance of him, was a sign of love and gratitude for the saint’s continued intercession.

St. John Neumann was the first American Bishop to be named a saint in 1977. A saint for young adults and supporter of the Roman Catholic School System, this saint’s selection witnesses to the hope of the people of God for the future of the faith in all young people.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a mother and Religious Sister foundress. Her efforts in education also lead to her beginning what we now know as parochial schools. St. Elizabeth Ann is a reminder to all to pray for families and especially children as they discern their own vocations from God. She was canonized in 1975.

St. Martin de Porres, like most of the other saints depicted, was canonized near the dedication of the new church in 1962. He was declared a saint by then Pope John XXIII. He is the patron saint of peoples from multiple cultures and races, barbers, innkeepers, public health workers, and animals. He stands for the need to pray for all individuals that they may receive equal opportunities for education, employment and all other areas of human life.

St. John the Baptist Window, St. Mary Basilica, Minneapolis

St. Mary Basilica Archivist Heather Craig shared: “Our stained-glass windows were all installed in 1925-1926 by Thomas J. Gaytee, owner of Gaytee Stained Glass here in Minneapolis. Gaytee trained with Tiffany in New York before coming to Minneapolis and opening his own studio.  The scheme for the windows was designed by our pastor, Fr. James M. Reardon. I don’t have any specifics for the St. John the Baptist window except that when it was installed, it was at the head of the ambulatory leading to the Baptistry.”

You may want to be present for the Icon Festival. The Festival opens with a procession of Icons during the 9:30 and 11:30am Masses on Sunday, October 29. Icons dating from the 17th century to contemporary time will be displayed in the sanctuary. Exhibit: October 28–November 26 Read more.

St. Mark, Minneapolis

Director of Communications, Kevin Kearns, shared that “the window of the ’12 apostles with Jesus’ was commissioned By Father Joseph Corrigan. The stained-glass window design was created by George William Sotter (1879-1953), a Roman Catholic, of Philadelphia. Best known for his work as an impressionist painter and associated with the “New Hope” School of American Impressionism. He was acclaimed for his night and winter scenes. As a young man he apprenticed and worked in stained glass and later he opened up is own stained-glass studio and his glass work is found in numerous churches and monasteries across the US. Sotter was a member of the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University from 1910-1919. His best-known glass work includes St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Wheeling, West Virginia, the chancery buildings at St. Paul’s Cathedral at Pittsburg, PA and his most celebrated windows are in Sacred Heart Church in Pittsburgh.

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