Parishioner creates stained-glass windows for Our Lady's Adoration Chapel of St. Peter's Catholic Church

dlauderdale@islandpacket.comMay 21, 2013 

Emily O'Brien of Beaufort stands with the stained glass windows she made for the Our Lady's Adoration Chapel at St. Peter's Catholic Church on Lady's Island.


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Thanks to St. Peter's Catholic Church for sharing the story of the new stained glass windows dedicated May 4 in its Our Lady's Adoration Chapel.

The five windows -- each 8 feet high by 33 inches wide -- were created over the past three years by parishioner Emily O'Brien in what used to be her family room.

Emily, who said she is 84, took up the craft at age 69. She also has been a Marine Corps wife, mother of seven, owner of The Sea Island Lady apparel and lingerie shop on Lady's Island, and the stager of fundraising fashion shows.

She learned the craft in Charleston and has made pieces for friends, relatives, neighbors and missions around the globe.

About this project, she said, "It's something I did for the Lord."

She wishes to thank her son Francis O'Brien and Mark Cantrell for building the work table for this project; the window installation team headed by Mike Falvey and including Mike Whitaker, Harold Ketchum and Paul Wiese; and her daughter-in-law Lisa O'Brien and Claire Ketchum for taking her to Charleston for supplies.

Following are remarks made by Father Paul MacNeil at the dedication event, which was followed by a reception.

"Order of Service"

By the Rev. Paul MacNeil

The windows of heaven are opened in blessing today as we gather to celebrate the dedication and blessing of these beautiful stained glass windows here in Our Lady's Adoration Chapel.

Christ is the Light of the World, and in Him there is no darkness. We gather here in this holy sanctuary in the real and true presence of the Light of the World, Jesus, our Bread of Life. For more than 23 years our community has bowed down in perpetual prayer and adoration to Christ in our Perpetual Adoration Ministry. We can we so proud of this achievement as it continues to anchor us as a faith community and keeps us centered in our worship of the One, True, Living God.

These stained glass windows, created over the past several years by our very own beloved parishioner, Ms. Emily O'Brien, are now completed. These colorful windows allow us to be touched by the rays of the sun in our sky and the illumination and grace of the Son of the Almighty.

We have the symbol of the Oneness of God in threeness of persons above the altar and tabernacle.

We have the symbol of the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, from the Book of Revelation; the Lamb of God; and the Chi-Rho. The Chi-Rho is one of the earliest forms of christogram. It is formed by superimposing the first two (capital) letters chi and rho of the Greek word for Christ in such a way as to produce the monogram. Although not technically a Christian cross, the Chi-Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus, as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ.

We have the two adoring angels, joining us in perpetual adoration of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We have the S and P -- not Standard and Poors -- but our very own patron, St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, with us in this chapel.

We have the A and M -- the Ave Maria -- in Latin, "Hail Mary" -- appropriate for this chapel and dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

We have the Marian Panel over to the right offering a rose, gift of love and a gift of her life to the Son.

We have the Priestly Panel. We have one High Priest, Jesus Christ, and we have those who are ordained into his priesthood, presbyters and priests. Here we have the priest offering praise and thanksgiving to God, acting in persona Christi, the person of Christ, and calling upon the Holy Spirit by the power of God to consecrate the bread into the Body of Christ.

The white flowers symbolize purity and the green leaves symbolize eternity and are a consistent theme throughout the panels.

Outside on the middle panel is the cross, the symbol of our salvation.

Please join me in thanking Emily O'Brien for her great generosity and sharing her inspiring artwork with our parish.

Here is a plaque that will be placed upon these hallowed walls until the end of time.

Let us now call upon our God to bless these sacred windows.

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