The Original Stained Glass

Photograph by Bill Blanchard


As we enter the Chapel, our eyes are drawn to the sanctuary and the painting of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception surrounded by angels. Above it, on the arch, is a painting of God the Father, surrounded by angels. If we allow our eyes to wander above we see a small window. This window is called the "Eye of God." It reminds us that God is present in this Chapel and His benevolent eye is always watching over us. It also points us beyond the world to the new creation and draws us into the worship of God.

Photograph by Bill Blanchard


This small window is probably the only remaining intact window of the original stained glass of the Chapel. It is very simple in design. A white circle, representing the host is surrounded by ornamental vines, black on gray. This design, black on varying shades of gray, is called grisaille, from the French gris, or gray. Grisaille is a simple form of stained glass. When the Chapel was built, few American glassmakers could produce high quality colored stained glass. Imported stained glass was very expensive. Photographs of Chapel from the nineteenth century indicate that the original windows were of this style.


A remnant of this glass may be seen in the garden entry to the Chapel.



This poorly repaired small trefoil window contains four original pieces of glass: the central circle (intact), the upper leaf (broken), and the lower left leaf (intact).


Who made these windows? We do not know for sure. An 1872 letter of Jeremiah O'Rourke, the architect of the Chapel, to Father Michael Corrigan, President of Seton Hall, recommends that the firm of Stack and Booth be engaged to repair damage to the stained glass. Perhaps Stack and Booth were the makers.