Work continues on the Bishop Baraga Chapel in Marquette, with the installation Wednesday of custom stained glass windows.
The windows were designed using the examples of existing stained glass throughout the Cathedral. The stained glass windows showcase symbolic images from Bishop Baraga’s lifetime.
Terri Gadzinski, Development Director of the Diocese of Marquette says, “The west facing window is going to be where the sarcophagus is going to go, and it has around the outside, it has the coats of arms from the eight diocese and arch diocese which Bishop Baraga ministered during his lifetime. It has his coat of arms at the top of it. The east facing will have a lifesize image of Bishop Baraga providing a blessing.”
The chapel will house the remains of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette’s first bishop, Frederic Baraga, who was declared “Venerable” by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2012.
When the Church gives the title of venerable, it proclaims that person worthy of public veneration and their tomb must be accessible to the public.
Venerable Frederic Baraga’s remains are currently in the St. Peter Cathedral crypt, where other past bishops of the Diocese of Marquette are entombed.
The chapel is being built as an addition to St. Peter Cathedral, extending into the courtyard. Plans call for the chapel to have two entry points. One entry will be from inside the cathedral church, near the sacristy where the holy oils are currently kept. The other entry will be from the cathedral’s courtyard, allowing entrance to the chapel while Masses and special events are taking place, without being a distraction.
Venerable Bishop Baraga’s remains will be above ground, entombed in a marble sarcophagus. Several beautiful stained glass windows will carry symbols associated with the life and ministry of Baraga, including his Slovenian roots and honoring his missionary ministry to the Native Americans of the Upper Great Lakes region.
Construction on the chapel began late June by Gundlach Champion Construction of Iron Mountain. The windows were designed by Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc. of New Berlin, Wisconsin.
It was hoped the chapel would be completed by the end of October, however, the sandstone exterior has been a factor causing the construction delay. Sandstone of the quality and color of the Cathedral was needed, so it blends well with the existing Cathedral. The project requires about 1000 sq. ft. of sandstone of about 4” width, to serve as an exterior veneer to the chapel. Sandstone blocks of larger width can be cut to be usable for the project.
The campaign to raise $500,000 for chapel construction has just $32,000 to go – additional donations are needed to help meet the goal. To make a donation to the chapel, please contact Terri Gadzinski, development director for the Diocese of Marquette, at 906/227-9108 or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.