The Life of Jesus Cycle

Eight large windows in the nave tell the story of Jesus’ early life, from the wedding of Mary and Joseph to his teaching ministry. The story begins on the south side of the building, perhaps to relate to the winter solstice, when the sun is furthest south, and we celebrate the holy feast of Christmas. …

Faith and Science: The Vesica Piscis

What is this arcane symbol, and what is it doing on our church building? I wondered about this for over a decade after we joined St. Joe’s, until I got ahold of the application for historic district status that was written by architect Kurt West Garner of Indiana Landmarks for downtown Hammond. (Many thanks to …

Stations of the Cross, 6:00 pm Fridays of Lent

Join us for the Stations of the Cross prayer on Fridays during Lent at 6:00 pm. In this ancient form of prayer, perhaps as old as the fourth century, we accompany Jesus in the suffering he went through when he was tortured and executed by Roman authorities. This prayer offers us the opportunity to spend …

The Presentation in the Temple

The fourth window in the nave continues the story of Jesus’ earthly life that wraps counterclockwise around the building. It portrays the presentation of baby Jesus in the Temple. The scene is dynamic, full of movement, drawing the viewer’s gaze in a circle. We see Joseph on the right, gazing protectively down and toward us …

The Gospel Writers

The styles of art and architecture at St. Joseph outline our history. The Romanesque dome reminds us of our ancient origins. The apse fresco recalls the Middle Ages. This seated figure, with his three companions, alludes to the beginnings of the Modern era in the Italian Renaissance. Four of these frescoes of decorate the transepts. …

Quick snapshot: the carved front doors.

Today I had the privilege to meet Chris Wadas, a long-time parishioner at St. Joseph. I was sitting near the entrance at the Holy Name raffle ticket table before Mass, when he happened to come in. We chatted about his experience of the parish, and he casually mentioned, “My grandfather John donated the front doors.” …

The Tree of Grace

“I’m looking forward to growing in my faith.” Our pastor Fr. Mens, in his November 3rd homily, shared these words from a young woman celebrating her quinceanera. Scripture and tradition are saturated with metaphors of growth: trees and gardens, vines and vineyards, seeds and shoots, flowers and fruit. In the apse at St. Joseph, the …