Corpus Christi Blog

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Part 2

06-26-2022Weekly ReflectionKathleen Foley, Director of Mission Advancement

As we continue to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the dedication of our church, we will take a look at the remaining stained-glass windows to further help us connect the visual to the spiritual.

East Side of the Church

Vatican II

The Second Vatican Council produced several documents that changed the way the faithful experience the Mass. One of these documents, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) laid out the reform and practical norms of the Liturgy with the goal of greater understanding and participation from the laity.

The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ's faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators; on the contrary, through a good understanding of the rites and prayers they should take part in the sacred action conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration. They should be instructed by God's word and be nourished at the table of the Lord's body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn also to offer themselves; through Christ the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all. [48]

After the Council, one significant change at many parishes was that the priest faced the people during Mass, similar to being gathered around the table for the Last Supper.

Saint Pius X

From the late Middle Ages until the early 20th century, conditions, and expectations of sacramental preparation in the Roman Catholic Church had changed to the extent that eventually, only adults were allowed to receive Holy Communion. In 1910, Pope St. Pius X changed that with his encyclical, Quam Singulari, which decreed, “… the age of discretion, both for Confession and for Holy Communion, is the time when a child begins to reason, that is about the seventh year, more or less.” [QS 21:1] Citing the practices of the early Church, as well as Jesus’ love of children, he restored the baptismal right of children receiving their First Holy Communion and Confession early on in life. Hence, this window shows children gathered around Pope Saint Pius X.


This Latin word is commonly understood as provisions for a journey. Receiving Holy Eucharist prior to death is receiving the Bread of Life for the journey to eternity. According to the Rites of the Anointing and Viaticum:

The celebration of the Eucharist as Viaticum, food for the passage through death to eternal life, is the sacrament proper to the dying Christian. It is the completion and crown of the Christian life on this earth, signifying that the Christian follows the Lord to eternal glory and the banquet of the heavenly kingdom. [Ch 5, para 175]

Blessed Sacrament Procession

We follow a long tradition of Eucharistic processions when we celebrate our feast day or other significant events in the Church. In 1551, the Council of Trent declared:

… that this sublime and venerable Sacrament be, with special veneration and solemnity, celebrated, every year, on a certain day, and that a festival; and that it be borne reverently and with honour in processions through the streets, and public places…” [Session XIII, Ch V].

Displaying our faith in the Eucharistic Lord through processions encourages us in our own journey of faith and allows us to share His presence with others.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

What can we say about the “Angelic Doctor of the Church” in this small space? An outstanding scholar and philosopher of the Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas spent years writing, teaching, and preaching as a Dominican priest. Even then, great thinkers of the day were wrestling with the relationship between faith and reason. While he wrote more than 60 works, he is best known for his Summa Theologica. As mentioned two weeks ago in the article on the history of our feast day, he composed the verses of Tantum Ergo, which we still sing during Eucharistic exposition. This influential saint will remain a significant source of spiritual nourishment for years to come.

Adoration Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Our adoration chapel – the heart of our parish – is where we can spend time with Jesus, who loves us more than we can imagine. The stained-glass windows here are beautiful reminders of His ultimate expression of love.

Agony in the Garden

After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.” And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony, and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground. - Luke 22:41-44

Crucifixion of Our Lord

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” - John 15:13 Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this, he breathed his last. - Luke 23:46

Our Lord’s Glorious Ascension

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:19-20

“Then he led them [out] as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them, he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.” - Luke 24:50-51

May we continue to seek the beauty, truth, and goodness of God through our senses, especially as we gaze upon the amazing work of stained-glass windows in our own church and in every church we visit throughout our lives.