Stained Glass Windows


For over one hundred twenty years, St. Joseph Church has served the Gowanda area.

            “For almost a thousand years church windows have told the story of God’s saving love with images from the Bible or episodes in the lives of Saints. In earlier times the church building itself was considered a “book” of religious instruction which the people could “read.” The ‘book” was made up of scripture, paintings, stain glass and tapestries depicting the story of salvation. This, in fact was the only type of “book” which most people could read. In the Middle Ages soaring gothic architecture was developed, which permitted extensive use of glass windows in churches. The art of stain glass windows reached its peak in France at this time. The beautiful windows in our church continue that tradition and are in the style of the Middle Ages. Created by the firm Jean Barillet in Paris, the windows were installed in January 1959 by a craftsman from Paris, who came to Gowanda for that purpose.

            The windows in the body of the church or Nave (from the Latin word for ship; so-called because the ceiling of the church looks like the upside-down hull of a ship) tell the story of salvation as recounted in the Gospels. The scenes are very simple, with only the principles depicted. Only the essential objects in the scene are shown. This economy of representation served to focus attention on the essential element of the scene depicted.”                - Rev. Lawrence Milby

To view Fr. Milby's Bulletin articles click HERE