71 Central St. Stoneham, MA 02180

The Windows and Fixtures of Saint Patrick Church

The Windows and Fixtures of Saint Patrick Church

At the entrance of the church from the parking lot is the Saint Benedict Door. It features a stained-glass window of St. Benedict with the Benedictine greeting, “PAX” (peace). This window of St. Benedict, with the Abbey of Monte Cassino in the background, is a commissioned piece by the St. Patrick Parish in recognition of the large number of our parishioners who trace their family roots to the town of Cassino where St. Benedict established his monastery. This window honors our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

The windows in the upper section of the St. Benedict Door come from St. Aidan Parish in Brookline. They depict the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, Jesus with the Children, and the Easter Sunday appearance of the Risen Christ to Mary Magdalene.

The plaza in front of the St. Benedict Door features a Shrine for the Unborn Child. The statue of Jesus with the children is a place of solace and remembrance for families who have lost children through miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion. We commend these little ones to the loving embrace of Jesus. The Shrine of the Unborn is a gift of the Stoneham Council, #489 of the Knights of Columbus. The bench at the shrine area honors Father John Mark Hannon for his long-standing commitment to the pro-life cause.

At the side of the school, outside of the Religious Education office and Youth Ministry office is the handsome bronze statue of St. John Bosco, the patron of youth ministry. This statue has been erected as a particular memorial of Monsignor John P. Carroll who served as Archdiocesan Director of the Catholic Youth Organization (C.Y.O.) from 1950-1968. This statue also honors all of the good and faithful priests who committed their lives to the service of our young people within the Catholic Youth Organization.

At the front entrance to the new building stands the towering figure of Christ, arms outstretched in welcome. The seven-foot figure of Jesus was carved from marble in the Dolomite Mountains of Northern Italy. It is hoped that this figure of the Welcoming Christ will become a challenging icon for St. Patrick Parish as we strive to grow ever more fully as a welcoming community of faith.

To the right of Welcoming Christ is the statue of Our Lady of Fatima donated in loving memory of one of our St. Patrick families. Notice how lovingly Our Blessed Mother looks toward the three children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta.

The upper section of the tower on Central Street features four stained-glass windows from St. Aidan Parish in Brookline with depictions of the Annunciation, the Agony in the Garden, St. Joseph and St. Catherine. The focus of these windows in Christian Vocation as Our Blessed Mother, at the Annunciation and Jesus, at Gethsemane challenge us with their total openness to God’s will. St. Joseph and St. Catherine of Siena represent all of the men and women of faith who have sought to discern God’s will in the course of their daily lives. The window of the Agony in the Garden has been designed as our lasting memorial to the men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

As you look to the back of our sanctuary, the beautiful oak-carved reredos is a gift from the Immaculate Conception Parish in Cambridge. The tabernacle, placed at the center of the reredos is the gift of St. Joseph Parish in Hyde Park. Providentially, the green marble base of the tabernacle coordinates perfectly with the connemara marble of our own base that includes sections of the altar rail from St. Margaret Parish in Brockton. It is possible to peer through the spiral columns of the base to view the altar stone with the relics. The relics in our church altar are those of St. John Bosco, St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

The magnificent stained-glass window in the center of the sanctuary is a ‘glimpse into heaven’ as Christ the King is surrounded by the saints and angels. This extraordinary window comes from St. Aidan Parish in Brookline.

The windows that flank the Christ the King window honor our patron, St. Patrick and St. Brigid of Kildare. There were stained-glass windows of these two saints in the sanctuary of our early church and there were statues of them enshrined in the niches of the gothic altar during a later period of time. These windows are a gift of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in Brockton, along with the other windows of the saints that line the Pomeworth Street wall of the church. From left to right, the windows depict St. Michael the Archangel, St. James the Apostle, St. Patrick and St. Therese of Lisieux. The window of St. Michael the Archangel honors our architect, Angelo Michael Petrozelli.

The ambo has been placed at the left of the sanctuary as a privileged place for the proclamation of God’s Holy Word in scripture. The ambo coordinates perfectly with the reredos as it too comes from the Immaculate Conception Parish in Cambridge. You might want to inspect close-up the intricate carvings of liturgical symbols and butterflies on the rounded barrel of the ambo (alpha and omega/ Ten Commandments/ John eagle/ cross/ scales/ seven ship candles/ oak leaves and acorns).

The Stations of the Cross that line the wall of the nave are a gift from St. Joseph Parish in Hyde Park. They have been mounted on new based to coordinate with the architecture of St. Patrick Church.

Entering the first floor foyer, sign yourself with the Sign of the Cross as you dip your hand into one of the magnificent holy water fonts the bottom of each stairway. These marble statues of angels watched over successive generations of the faithful who came to worship at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Jamaica Plain. A beautiful wood-carved bas-relief of the Nativity has been placed at the St. Benedict Door as another gift of the Blessed Sacrament Parish.

As you enter the front door, there is a pair of exquisite stained-glass windows of Our Blessed Mother and St. Anne with Mary as a child. These windows will sustain a spiritual link between the St. Patrick Parish and the former St. Patrick Convent. These were the windows that flanked the tabernacle in the convent chapel. They have been a cherished part of the prayer experience of the sisters who meditated and worshipped in that chapel for 95 years. As you enter this door, please offer a prayer for the Sisters of Providence, Sisters of St. Joseph, Sisters of Notre Dame and Dominican Sisters who served this parish so faithfully and generously over the course of a century.

Our new parish hall has been named “Our Lady of Providence Hall” in honor of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods in Indiana. These faithful women served St. Patrick School and St. Patrick High School for nearly a hundred years.

The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is a reconstruction of the grotto that was built by parishioners during 1954. Our grotto is enshrined in many family photo albums as a favored space for photographs on the days of First Holy Communions, Confirmations and weddings. The addition of the fountain is a special gift of the Gerardi Family. The rebuilding of the grotto was a labor of love for Michael and Joseph Gerardi. The bench by the side memorializes Mr. James Eicher for his many years of service and on the Building Committee at St. Patrick Parish.

A granite stone in the red brick plaza in front of the grotto memorializes the day of the rededication of St. Patrick Church. It reads:

Church of St. Patrick
Stoneham
Dedicated
On the twenty third day of July
In the year of our Lord two thousand and five
A solemn Year of the Eucharist
In the first year of the pontificate of
Pope Benedict XVI
By the most reverent Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap
Archbishop of Boston
“Rebuild My Church”

Along the circular driveway in front of the church, there are two benches. The bench next to the statue of the Welcoming Christ honors Mrs. Linda Kelly for more than 50 years of faithful service as a cantor and soloist at St. Patrick Parish. The other bench memorializes Father John Sutton as this bench overlooks the parade route where Fr. Sutton proudly marched as St. Patrick in the Centennial Parade for St. Patrick Church in 1988.