Varina parish restores windows
July 3 Mass to celebrate St. Columkille's project
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
June 30, 2005
VARINA - The stained glass windows in St. Columbkille Church in Varina have
been restored and will be re-dedicated on July 3.
There will be a special 10:30 a.m. Mass in which all parishioners and alumni
are invited. Father Thomas Hart, pastor at St. Columbkille and Our Lady of Good
Counsel in Fonda, noted that 300 or more people have sent their RSVPs for the
event, which will more than fill the church.
Following the Mass and special blessing and rededication of the windows,
there will be a dinner in the parish center. There will be a live band from
Carroll that will be playing during the event.
"It will be a chance for people from far and away to come back to visit,
to renew acquaintances and to see St. Columbkille Church once again," said
Father Hart. "It is a major project, especially for this size parish. It is
something special, and we wanted to have a special occasion for it."
The cost to restore the windows was $38,462.73, noted Father Hart.
"The funds were raised not only by the parishioners but also by former
parishioners who have moved away and live in other parts of the country,"
said Father Hart. "We contacted a lot of the alumni and former
parishioners. Between the two, we were able to raise the money that was needed
for the restoration of the windows."
Roseanne Wolf, a college student and daughter of Ray and Mary Wolf, was
instrumental in the project, noted Father Hart. She did all the computer work,
the letter writing to the alumni and the mailings.
"She was a tremendous success," said Father Hart. "She
coordinated the program."
According to Father Hart, there was a man, Ron Lillig, that was killed in an
industrial accident and the windows were donated in his memory.
The windows were made by the FX Zettler Company, located in Munich, Germany,
and put into St. Columbkille Church when it was built in the 1950s. The company
is still in business but under a different name.
The process of getting the windows restored started about a year and a half
or two years ago. It had been noticed that there was bulging between the back
window and the brace. It was bowing so much that Father Hart could put his hand
between the window and the brace.
"The windows had never been worked on since the church was built in the
50s," said Father Hart. "If you don't correct problems like that,
sooner or later the bulging will get so great that the glass will break. The
window in the back was the worst one for bulging by far. There were some cracks
in the other windows over the years."
All of the cracked stained glass has also been repaired. When the windows
were repaired, all the windows received new frames.
"The new framing is energy efficient framing," said Father Hart.
"For example, there is a thermal break between the aluminum that you see on
the inside and the aluminum you see on the outside. The thermal break is there
so that it won't conduct cold or moisture. That should also help with the
heating and cooling costs."
Since there is air conditioning in the church, the windows no longer open,
noted Father Hart. The vents were eliminated because they would leak and this is
a way to have a better seal on the church.
The windows were restored by Fairmount Glass out of Fairmount, Minn.,
mentioned Father Hart.
"We are to the point where we restored them and brought them back to
their original condition and shape," he said.