We as Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine have served the needs of God's people in Florida for more than 150 years.
Our stained glass ministry helps us fulfill our calling to embrace the needs of the times. Today, more than ever before, people need signs and symbols to keep them focused on the presence of God and to help them hear God's call for their lives. What better way to reach large numbers of people than through the visual and awe-inspiring beauty of stained glass?
As Sisters of St. Joseph and stained glass artists, we hope to bring God's love, peace and presence to sacred spaces through the medium of stained glass. We wish to teach, touch, and help heal the lives of all who gaze upon our works of art.
In creating stained glass art works, we believe that each stained glass piece tells a story; therefore, we work closely with our clients from conception through installation to capture that story. Stained glass creates a lasting legacy to commemorate important values, people, and occasions in our lives. The Sisters of St. Joseph have lovingly worked on innumerable memorial art pieces for churches, other institutions, and residences.
In restoring stained glass art, we strive to preserve the beauty and integrity of stained glass pieces for future generations. The Studio has a long and revered tradition of offering light, love, and assistance in response to tragedy and disaster. As a result, the Studio was asked to create a stained glass memorial window in New York City to commemorate all of those who were lost in the World Trade center.
The window was unveiled and dedicated during the remembrance ceremony on September 11, 2002. The memorial window now stands as part of a National Shrine in St. Frances of Assisi Catholic Church on 135th west 31st street in lower Manhattan, NYC.
When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast area, the Studio was called by the National Guard to help seal up the heavily damaged churches to prevent looting of these sacred spaces. Employees and volunteers from the Studio joined churches from all over the Gulf area in this emergency response effort. Subsequently, the Studio received commissions to restore damaged windows and create new windows to replace those that were destroyed in seven churches throughout the Gulf area.
In classes, workshops and retreats, we spend quality time educating our students and clients about the spirituality of thier own creativity as well as listening to the students' hopes and dreams. Over the years, we have work with many students in our studio to help them realize those dreams and aspirations.
In 2009, the Studio initiated a partnership with Beacon College of Leesburg, FL – the only accredited college in the US offering BA and AA degree programs for students with learning disabilities. Working in collaboration with school faculty and administration, we helped develop a program which offers students the opportunity to earn a degree in Art with a major in Stained Glass. We also helped set up a fully operational Glass Studio at the college where learning-challenged students receive professional and caring instruction. With the program now completing its first year of operation, the Studio provides presenters for workshops as well as consultant services to the academic managers of the program.
Most recently, the Sisters established an Art House and partnered with the Cyprian Center for Expressive Arts to bring the arts to the Lincolnville neighborhood - the same neighborhood of St. Augustine where the Sisters in 1866 first taught children of recently freed slaves.