Stained Glass Windows
Daylight streams into our church through ten vibrantly colored and detailed stained glass windows added in 1914 when Fr. Robert Karsten was pastor.These windows depict scenes from life of St. Joseph, the namesake of our church and husband of the Blessed Mother Mary. Joseph is considered the the patron saint -- the heavenly advocate -- of several countries and causes and occupations including: carpenters, fathers, the universal Church, social justice and a happy death.
In 1985, Pastor Fr. Irv Mogilka and generous parishioners saw to the restoration of these treasures by Conrad/Schmitt studios of New Berlin and added exterior protection.The restorers determined the windows were most likely crafted in Munich, Germany or Innsbruck, Austria. Their type, design and architectural form is said to strongly suggest production by the studio of Franz Mayer of Munich, founded in 1847. Pope Leo XIII named the company a “Pontifical Institute of Christian Art” in 1892. A silver nitrate stain and iron oxide patina fired into the glass ensures that their bright colors will not fade and fine detail is preserved.
Writing in the 1995 parish directory, Pastor Fr. Rick Stoffel said of what he called “catechisms in glass”: The faith, hope and love for God which inspired such artistic windows remain valuable and needed for today and many tomorrows. The mute testimony of these windows reminds all who look upon them of the holiness of life to which God calls everyone and that such holiness is found in awesome and ordinary human experience – youthful, married love; obedient, listening prayer; acceptance and protection for newborn life, public worship, daily work and a peaceful death – all parts of the life of the man we call St. Joseph and our lives, too. May the unfading colors of the windows we see remind us of the unfading glory of the God we cannot see and yet hope to gaze upon in eternity.