This was a lovely project for the Chapel of the John Paul II Pastoral Centre which is the administrative building of the Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver. We were asked to create two round windows; our East window is based on Bernini’s great oval window in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, which depicts the Holy Spirit, portrayed as a dove, and is shielded by a thin sheet of alabaster to diffuse the light. In our window we have extended the wing span of the dove and elongated the body a little, to better fit the space. Rays of light extend from the Dove, and there are twelve main segments within the window representing the twelve apostles. The companion West window depicts Christ Pantocrator (Greek, meaning “Ruler of All”) and is based on a twelfth century mosaic in Sancta Sophia, Constantinople.
The design we originally created placed the figure higher within the window and included a book as in the mosaic, however when we were discussing the designs in the Chapel with Archbishop Miller we felt that the focus needed to be more on Christ’s face and the hand in blessing. We achieved that by slightly lowering the position of the figure, enlarging it and emphasizing the rays of light behind.
“I am writing to express my genuine appreciation for the wonderful stained glass windows you painted and installed in the Chapel of the John Paul II Pastoral Centre. The Holy Spirit window and the Pantocrator window are both masterfully and beautifully executed. Undoubtedly, they will help deepen the participation in worship of all those who celebrate Holy Mass in our new Chapel. Thank you so much for your superb work!” ~ J. Michael Miller, CSB. Archbishop of Vancouver