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Fowler celebrates completion of window renovations

St. Anthony Parish in Fowler celebrated its newly restored stained glass windows with an open house Sunday, Oct. 29.

   The windows were recently restored by Hoefer’s Custom Stained Glass of Hutchinson.

   Father Ted Skalsky, pastor, presented an informative program regarding the history of the windows and their liturgical significance in the Catholic Faith.

   The renovation and restoration of the windows began in the Fall of 2015 with a fundraising campaign.  Current and former parishioners stepped up to show their love of the historical church by providing the nearly $124,000 needed to make the repairs.

   The stained glass windows at St. Anthony’s were originally created and installed in 1945 by Emil Frei, Inc. of St. Louis, for the price of $5,950.              

The seven nave windows of the church represent the seven sacraments: the two sanctuary windows contain the offering of Abraham and Melchisedech; the two side altar windows are the Good Shepherd and St. Francis; and the two transept windows depict the Crucifixion and the Sorrowful Mother in one and the Resurrection and Coronation in the other.  

   The need to repair and restore the 35 windows became necessary after years of heat and condensation caused considerable damage to the windows themselves, as well as the window frames.

   Repairs to large windows had to be made in Hutchinson.  One by one Scott Hoefer’s crew removed windows and took them back to Hutchinson where they were refurbished in Hoefer’s studio. 

   Smaller windows were able to be repaired and cleaned in the church.  This process continued until all 35 of the windows were repaired and restored.                

While the windows were in Hutchinson, repairs were made to the window frames to correct damage that had occurred.

   “Current and former St. Anthony’s parishioners truly outdid themselves,” said Father Ted Skalsky.   “I am very proud of how our parishioners, both current and former, stepped up to help make this renovation project happen. You can tell by the gifts and pledges we received just how proud of this church parishioners are.  They truly want this beautiful church to be preserved for generations to follow.”

   Following Father Ted’s presentations in the church, visitors were invited to the St. Anthony’s Church School for fall refreshments and fellowship.

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