Featured Windows, June 2000
St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church Window
Building: St. Josaphat Church
The many images in this great West Window at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church depict important events and persons in the "History of the Catholic Church." In the upper center St. Peter receives the keys to the Church from the hand of Christ.
To his lower right is a boat filled with the apostles as "fishers of men." At his lower left is the Basilica of St. Peter, major center of the Catholic Church. Directly below Peter is the emperor Constantine who ended persecution of the Christians and proclaimed Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.
The window's upper left is dedicated to early Christian martyrs and pictures St. Stephen, St. Laurence, St. Cecilia, St. Catherine, St. Sebastian, St. George, and those martyrs sacrificed to lions in the arena. The lower left represents saints who founded major orders: St. Clare and St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Benedict and St. Ignatius. St. Anthony and St. Joan of Arc are shown before the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
In the center are depictions of several important popes of the Catholic Church, including Popes Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Innocent III, Pius V, Pius X, John XXIII, Paul VI and Paul II.
Below the popes are great leaders of recent Catholic history: St. John Bosco, Padre Pio, Mother Teresa and St. Maximilian Colby.
The window's upper right shows St. Paul, preacher and propagator of the faith. At his lower right are six major Church leaders: St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila.
The lower right of the window is dedicated to the Catholic Church in America and features Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron Saint of the Americas. Below her are three saints of South America and Mexico: St. Francis Solanus, St. Rose of Lima, and Father Juniper Serra, together with the Mission Church of San Carlo at Carmel, California. The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. is surrounded by great figures of the Catholic Church in North America: Mother Frances Cabrini, Mother Katharine Drexel, St. John Neumann and Bishop John Carroll, St. Elizabeth Seton, Fr. Gabriel Richard (shown preaching to Michigan Indians), Jesuit martyr St. Isaac Jogues, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha of the Mohawks, and Fr. Solanus Casey, mystic and healer from Detroit.
Symbols of the seven sacraments of the Church, through which God's graces are bestowed by the Catholic Church, are found throughout the window's composition.
Designed by Edward Holowchak of Associated Architects, the octagonal St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church was completed in 1966. Its two large windows, 17 feet high by 21 feet wide, were created by church member and artist, George Kozak of Clarkston, Michigan, with the help of his daughter, stained glass artist Maria Truckey. The West Window was made in 1997. A companion East Window depicting "The History of the Ukrainian Church" was completed in 1998. Born in the Ukraine, Kozak came to Michigan with his parents, sister and brother in 1949. The family had fled their native country to escape political persecution and had spent several years as refugees in Poland and Germany prior to their arrival in America. Kozak, who is also a painter, photographer, mosaicist and sculptor, studied at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit and worked for General Motors as an industrial sculptor before retiring. He prefers to create art filled with religious imagery, for which he does painstaking research. In addition to the stained glass windows, Kozak's church also displays his murals and sculpture.
The East Window created by the same artist can be seen by visiting the Window of the Month for January, 2002.
St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church of Warren was registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Maria Truckey of Rochester Hills.
Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, June , 2000.