Published in the July 20th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News
Son makes emotional plea
The first stained glass restoration project artisan Andre Winter did was in 1967, when he was just five years old.
At the time, Andre helped his father, stained glass master Paul Winter, pull down, sort through and put back together delicate, multi-coloured, glass.
On Monday the father-son duo worked to re-install French medieval-styled stained glass windows — more than 50 years old — into the chapel of the new St. Joseph Seminary being constructed at the corner of 84 Street and 98 Avenue.
The 28 windows were removed from the old seminary site on Mark Messier Trail in November 2008 and Paul and Andre spent one year restoring the glass.
“We did have to go over every single panel and a lot of the panels, pretty much every panel actually, we did re-soldering and we re-stregthening of the windows,” Andre said.
“It’s a relief to see them out of (storage) boxes and into the actual frames and the light going through the glasses.”
Together the 14 large and 14 smaller stained glass windows, originally crafted in France, are made up of 84 window panels.
Seven of the larger windows — which stand over six metres high — are being placed within the chapel with the remaining seven placed on the chapel entranceway.
The 14 smaller windows — which stand half a metre tall and one metre wide — will be located throughout the seminary.
“They are gorgeous windows,” said 80-year-old Paul, glancing up to look at the restored pieces of shining glass.
“It’s nice. Seeing the light come through is what makes the stained glass window beautiful.”
“They’re so bright and clean now, they cleaned every one of them,” said Lorraine Turchansky, spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, standing in front of one of the smaller windows, brightly depicting multi-coloured glass designs of the seven deadly sins. “These are really museum piece artworks.”
The seminary’s sparkling windows depict symbols representing religious sacraments, historic levels of priesthood, virtues and vices.
St. Joseph Seminary is still under construction and will open in September.