Last night, St. Peter's Seminary Foundation hosted the premiere of the first episode of Panes of Glory: The Windows of St. Peter's Seminary
-- three times.
At 3:00 pm, St. Peter's Seminary staff and students gathered together to relish Fr. Prieur's Panes of Glory
on film. These are the people with whom Fr. Prieur has shared his a-ha moments, his great moments of discovery. They remember Fr. Prieur constantly saying, "Beauty, you never get tired of it. It always delights." At the end of this screening, there was a standing ovation, and a great fondness for Fr. Prieur and his work was very evident. This first screening was soon followed by a second one at 4:30 pm for members of the Amabile Choirs of London, Canada, who shared their beautiful voices for the series.
But the highlight was the 7:00 pm screening for benefactors and supporters of St. Peter's Seminary and for Salt + Light staff. Members of the Prieur family, Amabile Choir staff members, and representatives from the makers of the stained glass windows (Robert McCausland Limited) were among those present. The reception of the first episode was incredible! Fr. Prieur got up to share how the deaths of both his parents in 1999 got him going to work on the book. His parents left him a legacy which he spent partly on the book Panes of Glory
and the rest in supporting the Seminary. He took us back to 2004 at his book launch, when Fr. Thomas Rosica was struck by the visual impact of the stained glass windows of the Seminary chapel and said to Fr. Prieur, "There's a movie in this book, and it is of Hollywood quality!"
Seven years later, all of us are able to enjoy this book on film. Fr. Rosica announced that Salt + Light will begin the airing of the series on the network on May 1st, the day of the beatification of Pope John Paul II. This pope was a patron of the arts and wrote a letter to artists. And this production on the stained glass windows of St. Peter's Seminary is a great tribute to what Pope John Paul II believed, that artistic beauty leads one to God.
The evening ended with a lively reception in the refectory, accompanied by cake and drinks. True to the theme of the evening, the cake featured a stained glass image of St. Thomas Aquinas, after whom the chapel is named, as well as the logos of Salt + Light and the supporters of the series. What a night!
to find out more about the Panes of Glory