Windows in Wapakoneta are dazzling again
A number of churches in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have used the 20% rebate funds from the Archdiocesan capital campaign, One Faith, One Hope, One Love, to assist in church and parish renovations. The money has been critical for projects to improve grounds, make additions and in some cases restore beauty. At St. Joseph Church in Wapakoneta the renovation of the church has been a multi-year, multi-campaign project.
Before the inception of One Faith, One Hope, One Love, St. Joseph Church began their own capital campaign for church improvements. According to Father Pat Sloneker, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, despite the parish needs, parishioners recognized the needs of the broader Church and still pledged to the Archdiocesan campaign. “Outstanding, good stewards that they are, St. Joseph parishioners pledged generously to the Archdiocesan campaign as well. Many of us had to wait until our own church renovation campaign ended and then immediately began payment of the archdiocesan campaign’s pledge,” said Fr. Sloneker.
And their generosity was recognized in the 20% rebate to the parish from the campaign. In total the parish will receive an estimated $144,000 in rebates once all pledges are paid. This money is going toward accomplishing a renovation they were unable to originally complete, the restoration of the church’s stained glass windows.
The rebate money supplied more than 20% of the funds toward the $660,000 project. The rest of the funds were raised through the support of the parishioners for the continued renovation of the church and the generosity of the Wapakoneta Kleinhenz Moeller Foundation.
Walking into St. Joseph Church, the beauty of the more than 100-year-old church is astounding and contributing to the church’s radiance are more than a dozen dazzling stained glass windows. Originally designed in Munich, Germany, the windows were purchased around the time that the church was built in 1911. There are ten windows each measuring 20.5 feet by 5.5 feet that go down the nave of the church. Each cost $300 when purchased. These windows depict various saints and events in the life of Christ, including the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Presentation in the Temple, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple, the Agony in the Garden, the Crucifixion, St. Anne with the Virgin Mary, St. Martin of Tours, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Simon of Cyrene. In addition three large rose windows, each more than 20 feet high, grace the church walls above the vestibule and above each side of the altar. The rose windows depict angels, as well as the Nativity of the Lord and St. Joseph with the Child Jesus.
“I love the St. Joseph windows, particularly the window of the Nativity, which faces the presider’s chair. Now the windows are even more radiant,” said Fr. Sloneker. “Parishioners have been of one voice in praise of the beauty of the finished product. The windows look new and the glory of the Lord Jesus shines through them!”
The restoration project for the windows has taken several years. Begun in January of 2015, the process included removing each window for cleaning and inspection and then replacing it. The project is now coming to an end. The church hopes to have the full restoration completed in April of 2018 – just in time to let the spring sunshine illuminate the windows during the brilliance of the Easter season!