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Window of the Month
Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Building Name: Sweetest Heart of Mary Church

Studio Name: Detroit Stained Glass Works, The

City: Detroit

Window Shape: 5 (gothic arched, 2 vertical sections)

Date of Window: 1893

Subject/Title of Window: Kolasinski Memorial Window

Brief Description of Subject: This window has two panels,Good Shepherd and Immaculate conception. Alone of all the eight windows in the nave, this window, with its delightful tracery, consists of a double panel. This window has special significance because it probably embodies the priesthood of Father Kolansinski - his devotion to his God as the Good Shepherd, and his devotion to the Mother of God as the Immaculate Conception.

Concept Good Shepherd: verse from Bible John 10:14 Jesus said (in Latin) Ego sum pastor bonus  --- I am the good shepherd. Later in John he tells Peter that he will build his Church on him and he is to feed my sheep. Meaning Peter and his ecclesiastic descendants are his representatives on earth. Instead of Shepherds we call them by the Latin name for Shepherd -- Pastor.

Description: The good shepherd painting by Bernhard Plockhorst

Immaculate Conception -- belief that Mary was born without original sin. The window is based on Murillo's Aranjuez Immaculate Conception -- just the flowers held by one of the putti is missing.

Description: Mary is dressed in a white robe and blue drapery. She has her hands clasped over her heart and is looking up towards heaven. She has a crescent moon under her feet. A putto is holding a palm frond.

The palm frond symbolizes her triumph of the spiritual over the flesh.

Bible verse Rev 12:1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head.

Traditionally the woman has been interpreted as Mary and many portraits have her either standing on a moon or a crescent of the moon.

Quick History. D. Kolasinski was the pastor who built St. Albertus. As soon as it opened the Bishop transferred him out. Some parishioners rioted with at least one death as a consequence. Some people left the Church and formed their own Church and asked Kolasinski to be their pastor. Kolasinski was ex-communicated as well as those that attended this Church. He attracted more people and built Sweetest Heart of Mary. Thus the Church when it opened was not part of the Roman Catholic Church.

Sweetest Heart of Mary is an awkward name for a Church. Biblically what is the sweetest heart of Mary? Has anyone ever seen a painting of the sweetest heart of Mary? Are their other heart's of Mary that are not as sweet? I believe this Church uses the Immaculate Conception for its depiction of the sweetest heart of Mary. Above the main entrance is a statue of the Immaculate Conception ( see outside view of Poland window). In the center of their very elaborate reredos is a large statue of the Immaculate conception. Also just left of the reredos is a large mural of the Immaculate Conception. Thus I view the picture of the Immaculate Conception as representing this Church and its congregation.

Considering the path this church has taken by leaving the Roman Catholic Faith, I see the pairing of these two windows as the rest of the quote from John 10:14 "I know my sheep and my sheep know me".  In biblical times the shepherd would call his sheep and they were taught to recognize his voice and come to him-- hence I know my sheep and my sheep know me. I think the parishioners of 1893 would see this Window as "We and the Pastor are in this together".

--Michael Surdyk, October 7,2016

Inscriptions: Inscription: Ofiarowal Ksiadz D. H. Kolasinski Proboszcz. Translation: Donated by priest D. H. Kolasinski Pastor

Condition of Window: Restored, 1979

Type of Glass and Technique: Silver Stain

Kolasinski Memorial Window
Kolasinski Memorial Window
Good Shepherd/Immaculate Conception close-up
Good Shepherd/Immaculate Conception close-up
Good Shepherd/Immaculate Conception exterior
Good Shepherd/Immaculate Conception exterior

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