Last week, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lincoln received a blessing – one that has a story dating back to 1926 when the community of Nebraska City signed a letter of agreement to build St. Mary’s Community Hospital. Soon after, construction on the hospital began and Emil Frei was commissioned from St. Louis, Missouri to design stained glass windows for the hospital.
Last year, CHI Health St. Mary’s opened a brand-new, 110,000-square-foot hospital campus at 1301 Grundman in Nebraska City. At that time, the stained glass windows from the original hospital were given to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lincoln, who is building a new church on a tight budget using the collective skills and creativity of their parishioners. The stained glass windows are a big help, and they bring the tradition of the Catholic Church to a new, modern church.
Interestingly enough, Emil Frei’s great, great grandson, Aaron Frei, removed the windows from St. Mary’s Community Hospital last fall. He took them back to his shop for restoration. Although, he shared that little restoration work was needed.
“It brings our organization great pride to share a part of our history with St. Patrick’s Catholic Church,” says Dan Kelly, president of CHI Health St. Mary’s. “For us, the stained glass windows helped create a peaceful, welcoming chapel that helped so many visitors find a sense of inner peace. It is reassuring to know that they will do the same for the St. Patrick’s community.”
The south side of the church was designed to accommodate the size and shape of the windows. The stained glass windows have been installed in their new home. They will serve as a perfect reminder that the healing ministry of CHI Health doesn’t reside in one place; it extends far beyond the walls of our hospitals to bring comfort, healing and health to our communities.
See more about this story an additional photos of the windows at Clark Architects.