Shining bright from within
Stained-glass windows refurbished,
re-dedicated,at historic Holy Family
Church in Odin
By DAVID MYERS
and TIM WENZL
ODIN -- Darkness had fallen outside when the Most Rev. John B. Brungardt raised the aspergillum (Holy Water sprinkler) to the newly refurbished windows of Holy Family Church, blessing each one.
Although the windows appeared dark from inside the historic church, to those happening by outside, the light from within sent the windows ablaze in color.
The March 7 gathering followed a Lenten Friday dinner of potato soup and vegetable soup, and preceded a penance service in which Bishop Brungardt, and Fathers Pascal Klein, Ted Stoecklein and John Forkuoh, celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation with parishioners.
“My brothers and sisters,” the bishop said, “as we begin to celebrate this rite in praise of God on the occasion of the re-dedication of our stained glass windows, not only do these windows add beauty to our Church, but they instruct us on the life of Jesus and its meaning for us. Our ancestors in the faith here in Odin chose these windows to enhance our worship space. Today, we celebrate their refurbishment. May they continue to inspire us to lives of faith. We praise God for their beauty and for our ability to complete this project.”
After blessing the windows, Bishop Brungardt called forward Scott Hoefer of Hoefer Stained Glass of South Hutchinson, shook his hand and thanked him for his work on the windows.
As a late winter storm moved slowly across western Kansas, parishioners celebrated a Lenten penance service in the comfort of the Lord’s house.
The stained glass restoration project took a little over a year to complete.
“The coolest thing about this project was we didn’t have folks breathing down our backs to get things done,” Hoefer said in a telephone interview. “They let us do what we needed to do. One of the things they were very concerned about was that we not take the windows down. One of the harder parts of the project was re-cementing the windows on site and in position.
“We removed the hail screen on each of the windows. Then we covered the stained glass windows with plywood to protect the glass as we worked on the wood frames. This was a precaution against anyone damaging the glass. When we were finished with each window, we installed protective glass to guard against bad weather.
“It was really a joy working with Sister Andre,” Hoefer said. “I really feel she had the drive to get the stained glass windows restored. She always complimented our work. My biggest joy is to see a project like Holy Family Church from start to finish. To see what is was and now what it looks like, knowing that the Lord has allowed us to restore these windows.
“I really want to emphasize that I have a great group of workers who take tremendous pride in their work. They are very responsible guys and care a lot about what they do. That’s a big part of this business, the people who work for Hoefer Stained Glass.”