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A new stained glass window for Holy Rosary

The stained glass window in the new addition at Holy Rosary.1 / 2
Kathy Sullivan2 / 2

When Holy Rosary Church decided to add onto its building, leaders discussed artistic mediums to incorporate into it. They decided on a stained glass window, and Kathy Sullivan was the one to make it.

A long-time friend of Terri Paskey, Paskey contacted Sullivan to see if she would be interested in creating a window for the addition. Sullivan, who lives in Detroit Lakes during the summer and January -- for snowmobiling purposes -- and Florida in the winter, agreed to the task.

After she left in January for Florida, she, Father Jerry Rogers and Paskey communicated back and forth about the window until the design, titled "Mary Mother of Word & Sacrament" was agreed upon.

"He gave me an inspirational photo and we went from that photo," Sullivan said. "That's how it all got started. He liked the design, and so I started the window once we got the approval on the design."

The inspiration photo was one of Mary and baby Jesus. Mary wasn't teaching Jesus the rosary, but they were holding a rosary.

"So, I took that and drew what they call a cartoon in stained glass, which is a black and white drawing, using that photo as an inspiration."

She sent the design to Father Jerry and he commented that since Holy Rosary was also a school, Jesus should be a little older, like 4-5 years old, and that Mary would be teaching Jesus the rosary. From there, Sullivan moved forward with the window.

She began at the end of January and delivered the finished window over Memorial Day weekend. "Basically I worked on it on and off throughout that time."

Sullivan teaches pottery and stained glass workshops in Florida, and her students would see her progress each Thursday.

"The window was the center of the studio for 4-5 months, so all the students got to see the window come about, from beginning to end. They really enjoyed that."

Sullivan's interest in stained glass dates back to her grandfather, who was a stained glass artist in the Boston area. He did work on one of the windows of the Boston Cathedral, though she's not certain which one.

"It just kind of came naturally," she said. "So, 25 years ago, I took up stained glass at the time. I put it aside for other art and then took it back up a couple years ago."

Thankfully, there were no frustrations when she was creating the Holy Rosary window.

"I think the Holy Spirit was definitely with me, because it went very smooth. Sometimes I look at the window and think 'who made that?' It was just meant to be."

The finished product, now set in the Devotional Chapel building, she sees it as "awesome."

"The whole chapel itself -- the colors in the chapel, the altar, just kind of adds to it. It's very nice."

She said in the beginning, she was told it was to be a meditative window of sorts, "so I tried to have the window tell a story in itself. As they are in the chapel, looking at the window, that it would be self-explained and each person would walk away with something different from it."