St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Vancouver. South Aisle

Our first commission at St. John the Apostle was to continue the windows on the South aisle depicting the Luminous Mysteries. It was also required that we remove the glazing and aluminum frames dating from the 1940’s, and replace with custom made quality oak frames and protective outer glazing. The creation of a stained glass window requires equal balance from both the artistic and the practical. Not only does a window need to look exceptional, it needs to be structurally strong to withstand weathering and aging for at least a hundred years, at which point it may need re-leading. For the South aisle it was decided to use tinted glass and a variety of depth of colour for the background to the figures, in this way the outside could be partially seen, symbolically allowing the church to be part of the wider world.

We started with the second Luminous Mystery, the wedding at Cana, where Jesus changed water into wine as the first of his signs and revealed His glory. The inscription on the window reads “Do Whatever He tells you”.

The third Luminous Mystery is the Proclamation of the Kingdom, when Jesus healed the paralyzed man. The inscription reads “Stand up, take your bed”.

The fourth Luminous Mystery is the Transfiguration. Jesus took Peter, John and James with him up a high mountain, and was transfigured before them as Moses and Elijah appeared talking with him. The inscription on the window reads “This is my Beloved Son”.

The fifth Luminous Mystery is the Institution of the Holy Eucharist at the last supper. John 6:27 “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you”. The inscription on the window reads “Take, Eat, drink”.

The next window in the sequence teaches about Jesus, the inscription reads “I am the way, the truth, the life”. The window depicts the Eucharist symbols of the wheat and the vine, as well as  the Chi Rho, and the symbols of the beginning and the end; the Alpha and Omega.

The last window depicts Matthew 28:20 “I am with you always”.

We later completed the windows at the church entrance. The designs depicted the symbols of the Chalice with the Host over the Serpent, and the Eagle which is considered to be the emblem of St. John the Apostle, also known as St. John the Evangelist.


“Gilroy Stained Glass assisted us with a large scale project which involved replacing most of the church windows. From the design phase through to installation, the Gilroys were excellent to work with. They made a great effort to be sensitive to the parish’s wishes; they were creative with their designs and attentive to details; they communicated regularly throughout the development phase; the workmanship of the completed windows and installation was superb.”

~ The Most Reverend Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith. Former Pastor at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Vancouver.