St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church – Toledo Avenue

I may have mentioned before that I’m putting together the booklet for the centennial celebration of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church. I went back to the original St. Nicholas on Toledo Avenue for more pics, having a better camera, more experience, and knowing how I was going to shoot each shot. Unfortunately, the church is showing its age. And the church currently calling the location home, cannot afford the upkeep and will be moving in the future.








This is located on the ceiling above the pews.


This is located above the altar.












The banners were put up by the present church. On they left and right, in front of the pews, they cover an icon of Jesus Christ, and St. Nicholas.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. – Revelation 1:8

St. Nicholas Byzantine: Stained Glass

I worked on the stained glass first, when I entered the Church. The lights were still off, the Church was very dark, and it was a cloudless sunny day on the 29th, which helped tremendously. Each window depicts an important event during the life of Christ in the New Testament.

Baptism of Jesus by St. John in the River Jordan

This observance commemorates Christ’s baptism by John the Forerunner in the River Jordan, and the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry. The Feast of Theophany is the culmination of the Christmas Season, which starts on December 25 and ends on January 6. In mystic commemoration of this event, the Great Blessing of Water is performed on this day, and the holy water so blessed is used by the local priest to bless the homes of the faithful.

The feast is called Theophany because at the baptism of Christ the Holy Trinity appeared clearly to mankind for the first time — the Father’s voice is heard from Heaven, the Son of God is incarnate and standing physically in the Jordan, and the Holy Spirit descends on Him in the form of a dove.

The Boy Jesus in the Temple

His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and his mother didn’t know it, but supposing him to be in their company, they went a day’s journey, and they looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances. When they didn’t find him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him. It happened after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

The event is described in the Gospel of Luke . According to the gospel, Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth to complete Mary’s ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12, Exodus 13:12-15, etc.). Luke explicitly says that Joseph and Mary take the option provided for poor people (those who could not afford a lamb) , sacrificing “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”Upon bringing Jesus into the temple, they encountered Simeon the Righteous. The Gospel records that Simeon had been promised that “he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ”. Simeon prayed the prayer that would become known as the Nunc Dimittis, or Canticle of Simeon, which prophesied the redemption of the world by Jesus:Now you are releasing your servant, Master, according to your word, in peace; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all peoples; a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.

Nativity of Christ

According to the Bible and to Holy Tradition, Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem in a cave, surrounded by farm animals and shepherds. The baby Jesus was born into a manger from the Virgin Mary, assisted by her husband St. Joseph. St. Joseph and the Theotokos were forced to travel due to a Roman census; the odd location of the birth was the result of the refusal of a nearby inn to accommodate the expecting couple. Since it is known historically that dwellings were built directly over such caves housing livestock–in order to make use of the heat.

The Annuciation

According to the Gospel of Luke, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce to her that she would conceive and bear a son, even though she “knew no man.” According to holy tradition Mary had come home to her parents when she was only fifteen when she was visited by Gabriel.

This date was selected by the Church Fathers to be exactly nine months ahead of the Nativity of Our Lord (or vice-versa?), indicating that Christ was conceived in perfection at that time “of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,” as stated in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.


Fifty days after the Resurrection, on the excising Jewish feast of Pentecost, while the disciples and many other followers of Jesus Christ were gathered together to pray, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of “cloven tongues of fire,” with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and they began to speak in languages that they did not know. There were many visitors from the Jewish diaspora to Jerusalem at that time for the Jewish observance of the feast, and they were astonished to hear these untaught fisherman speaking praises to God in their alien tongues. This account is detailed in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2.

The Ascension

The first account of the Ascension found in the Bible is in the Gospel of Mark. The description is brief. Jesus and the remaining eleven disciples are seated at a table, presumably in a room in or near Jerusalem. Jesus commands his followers to spread the Gospel, and that those who believe will be known by their invulnerability to poison, ability to heal the sick, and the like. After delivering these final words, Jesus is received into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. No description of the Ascension itself is given; Mark simply states that it happened.

The Resurrection

The Gospels narrate that after Christ’s Passion and suffering on the Cross, he was laid in a tomb which was donated by Joseph of Arimathea. After three days in the tomb, Christ broke the bonds of Death through his resurrection. The belief of Christ’s Holy Resurrection is reiterated in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

In iconography, Our Lord is depicted pulling up Adam and Eve out of their sepulchers while trampling upon the gates of Hades (death).

The Crucifixion

The Crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the first century A.D. Jesus, whom most Christians regard as the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross. Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus’ redemptive suffering and death by Crucifixion represent critical aspects of Christian theology, including the doctrines of salvation and atonement.

Christians have traditionally understood Jesus’ death on the cross to be a holy sacrifice that atones for humanity’s sin and makes salvation possible. Christians participate in this sacrifice through the bread and wine of the Eucharist, also referred to as The Lord’s Supper or Communion, and many also commemorate the event on Good Friday.

The Last Supper

By the Last Supper is meant the final meal that Jesus shared with his twelve disciples before his death. The events of that evening are recounted in the canonical gospels and by the Paul the Apostle. According to what Paul wrote in his First Letter to the Corinthians,[1] at that meal Jesus gave his disciples bread, saying it was his body, which was broken for them, and gave them wine, saying it was the new covenant in his blood, and told them to do it in his memory.

St. Stanislaus, Cleveland: Stained Glass


Revelation of the Sacred Heart


Slaying of St. Stanislaus                            Souls in Purgatory


Our Lady of Czestochowa                        The Eucharistic Banquet


The Good Shepherd                                 Mary, Queen of the Rosary

St. Stanislaus, Kostkas Vision

Nativity BVM

I’ve been on this Church and stained glass window kick for a while now. Thanks to a number of comments about how beautiful Nativity BVM on 15th St was, I made arrangements with Father Glepko and dropped by one afternoon. I was blown away. Hope you are, too.

Nativity Church

View from the Choir Loft



History of the Nativity of BVM Parish

Beginning in 1895, large numbers of Polish immigrants began to settle in Lorain, where they found employment on the docks and in the steel mills. They attended services at St. Mary’s Church but desired a pastor who could speak their own language. The pastor of St. Mary’s, Rev. Joseph Eyler, petitioned Bishop Ignatius Horstmann on their behalf for a priest conversant in Polish and the establishment of their own parish. However it was not until January 11, 1898, that the bishop was able to send Fr. Adolph Swierczynski to serve as the resident pastor for the Poles. Fr. Swierczynski also had charge over the Polish mission at Grafton, Assumption B.V.M., where he held services on the alternate Sundays that he was not in Lorain. The first Mass by the new pastor was said January 16, 1898. More here….

And more Nativity pictures here.

Old Stone Church – Details

Some of the smaller windows and the details in the larger stained glass windows are not that visible in the Church, and tend to get overlooked. A recent comment alluded to the fact that the windows weren’t really noticed on past visits by the individual. He was going to look a little more closely on his next visit. For those that aren’t able to get out that way, I think you’ll enjoy today’s shots.

Old Stone Church – Stained Glass Windows

The Old Stone Church, long a downtown Cleveland landmark, has a congregation dating back to 1820. It was founded at a time when Cleveland was just a village of a few hundred people. As Cleveland has grown, The Old Stone Church has kept pace, becoming a symbol of spiritual leadership, community involvement and stability in the heart of the city.

In 1885, the window overlooking Public Square was dedicated in memory of Amasa Stone. This magnificent window was designed and executed by John LaFarge.

Amasa Stone window

Left                        Center                      Right

In 1885, the first of four Louis Comfort Tiffany windows was dedicated: “The Recording Angel.”

In 1915, a second Tiffany window, “Beside the Still Waters” was given.

 “Christ Blessing Little Children,” designed by J. and R. Lamb, was added in 1920.

Another Tiffany window, “The Sower,” was dedicated in 1930.


The Old Stone Church

Old Stone Church

To view any of these photos large, just click on the image. To view them even larger, go to the set at Flickr. Click on the image, then “All Sizes”, then “Original.”

Easter Mystery

It’s no secret that I’m a parishioner of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church. I’ve featured some of the pictures of the stained glass here in the past. Now, I usually sit in the same pew each time I attend. So, last Saturday, during the homily, I happened to look past the visiting priest at the shroud that represents Christ in the tomb.

Christ in the Tomb

(sorry about the reflection-hh)

Saturday was the evening before Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. Christ was welcomed by the citizens of the city because he was supposed to save them, and because they had just learned of Christ’s raising of his friend, Lazarus. The scene is described as the crowd greeting Jesus by waving palms and carpeting his path with them, which has given the Christian festival its name. It also shows the freedom wanted by the Jews, and their desperation to have political freedom. The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and of victory, in Jewish tradition, and covering the path of someone was thought worthy of the highest honor. So, they believed Christ was there to save them, although not in the way they expected. (They expected Christ to save them from the Roman Army.) And five days later, Jesus would be crucified on the Cross. Three days later, as predicted in Scripture, Jesus Christ would rise from the dead. The window for the Resurrection is below.

Resurrection of Christ

So, I’m looking at the shroud and in it I see a reflection. And the reflection in the glass of the case that protects the shroud is the stained glass of the Resurrection! I’ve never noticed this before, and I’ve been sitting in this exact spot since my son started serving as an altar boy 2 years before.

Image of the Resurrection


Without the Crucifixion , we wouldn’t have the Resurrection.

Christos Voskrese!

Christ is Risen!

Voistinnu Voskrese!

Indeed He is Risen!

SPRING: Rebirth, Ritual and ReCreation

“The Lorain County Sacred Landmarks Initiative, Stocker Arts Center, and our programming partners are pleased to present an art exhibit and series of special events that celebrate Spring and its rituals in our community!” 

I thought you all might be interested in the exhibit at the Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery. I did the photography for the posters hanging in the lobby and for the large “stained glass” panels that are suspended from the ceiling. It’s a great exhibit and features local artists and churches.

St. Theresa's Door

Lilly Windows

Oval Window