- Cullman, Alabama

April 4, 2012

Temporary windows replaced at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church

Barbara Ragsdale
Sacred Heart Church

CULLMAN — Temporary windows replaced at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church

The “rose’ stained glass windows of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Cullman, which were supposed to be “temporary” when first installed 55 years ago, have been replaced during the past few weeks with windows designed to be more in the style of the other 24 religious-themed panels which surround the church building.

The two rose windows, one on the north, the other on the south side of the 100 year old building were replaced with two beautifully done windows, with one depicting a cross with a crown of thorns, while the north window features a chalice with the Holy Eucharist.  In addition, the west facing window over the choir loft has been replaced with an iconic image of the Holy Spirit.

Plans are still in the works for stained glass panels to be put into place in the front doors of the nave of the church.

Sacred Heart Catholic School also has a new stained glass panel adorning the front entrance of the building featuring the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Bovard Studio, Iowa, is in charge of this historic project. They also have been involved in repair/replacement work at two other churches in Cullman which were damaged during the April 27, 2011, tornado rampage through the city and state.

The window updating is part of preparations underway to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the present church. While the congregation was founded in 1877, a wooden building served as the first gathering place for worship, with the cornerstone of the present structure being laid in 1913.

During the dismantling of the old windows and the insertion of the new, the students of Sacred Heart School were avid watchers of the process. Their “oh’s” and “ah’s” were interspersed with cries of wonder and delight, some fear, when the window facing their playground came out and some of the glass broke (the children were not near the process!).  The stained glass from the “old” windows is being preserved as much as possible by the Bovard workers for future use by the church.                   

The employees from Bovard have gone over and above board in their dedication to the completion of this project for the Sacred Heart Church community. Working late into the nights and showing great respect for the church building, they are leaving behind a wonderful body of work as testament to their skill. Sacred Heart Church has been blessed to have Bovard involved in this historic process!

Father Patrick Egan, O.S.B., pastor of Sacred Heart, hopes that Diocesan Bishop Robert Baker will be able to bless the newly installed stained glass windows at a future date. With the insertion of these final windows and the panels which will be placed in the interior church doors, the parish council's project to preserve and protect this one aspect of the beauty of the 100-year-old building has been completed. The church family of Sacred Heart rallied around the cause and through their prayers and donations the church stained glass windows live on as a testament to the heritage of their forefathers who planned and erected this historic structure in downtown Cullman as a testament to their strong religious faith. Father Patrick's ongoing prayer of "Thank you, Jesus, for our Sacred Heart" is heartfully felt by his Cullman congregation.