Stained-glass Windows from Former Assumption Campus Unveiled
On June 1, Assumption College dedicated three stained-glass windows that were once part of the College and Preparatory School’s Greendale campus chapel, which was damaged 60 years ago by a tornado. One of the restored windows is called “The Tornado Window,” in remembrance of the three Assumption community members who perished in the June 9, 1953, storm.
Joining Assumption College President Francesco Cesareo at Saturday’s unveiling was the Most Rev. Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester and Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) President Gail Carberry. (The Greendale campus is now home to QCC.) The ceremony began on the first-floor landing of the Testa Science Center overlooking the Atrium for the first window’s unveiling and shifted to Testa’s north entrance for the second window’s unveiling. Then the ceremony moved to the Chapel of the Holy Spirit for the dedication of “The Tornado Window.” Bishop McManus blessed all three windows.
“These windows represent an important part of Assumption’s history," said President Cesareo. "The repair and installation of these unique pieces of art, with their intricate detail and luminous beauty, establishes a fitting memorial to the faculty and students of Assumption Prep throughout the Assumption College campus. Displaying these beautiful windows reminds us of the history of our college and our close connection with Assumption Prep. The past intersects with the present as we reflect upon the spiritual truths embodied in these windows and which continue to be central to the life of Assumption College.”
In 1950, 12 stained-glass windows were installed in Christ the King Chapel on Assumption’s Greendale campus to commemorate the centennial of the Augustinians of the Assumption, the order founded by Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon. The 15’ x 6’ windows were crafted in Paris by artist Raphael Lardeur. Each of the leaded glass windows is comprised of up to 18 panels placed in a metal frame, and prominently features the figure of Christ.
The 1953 tornado destroyed not only the windows but also the campus. The College was relocated in 1956 to its current home at 500 Salisbury St., but the Prep School remained in Greendale. Lardeur created a second set of windows, following the original sketches, and the windows were reinstalled in the mid-1950s in Christ the King Chapel. The windows stayed even after the Prep School closed in 1970 and QCC bought the property.
The first window unveiled, Christ the King, is located in the Testa Science Center Atrium. This window’s restoration is a gift of Fred Shea '73 and his wife Susan. Entrance of Christ to Jerusalem is stationed in Testa’s north entrance and is a gift of the W.E. Aubuchon Co. family. “The Tornado Window,” Christ Calming the Sea, is located in the south entrance of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit and is a gift of Assumption Prep’s classes of 1953 and 1954. The window is dedicated to Assumption’s tornado victims, Father Engelbert Devincq, A.A.; and two members of the Antonian Sisters of Mercy, Sister Marie St. Jean de Dieu Martel, S.A.M., and Sister Marie Ste. Hélène Simard, S.A.M.
Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College