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Sisters find a new home for valued
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placeholder  January 5, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Sisters find a new home for valued piece of their history

A stained glass window bearing the image of Mother Marie Rose, founder of the Sisters of the Holy Names, now resides in the chapel at Holy Names University.
Courtesy photo

Before the Sisters of the Holy Names left their longtime headquarters in Los Gatos, a number of their frail and vulnerable members were relocated to new homes where they could spend the next chapter of their lives. A much loved and venerable piece of the Sisters' history — a stained glass window — also found a new home miles away in Oakland.

This stained glass window bearing the image of Mother Marie Rose, the venerable founder of the religious community, now resides in a chapel at Holy Names University.

Margaret Pederson, a member of the Stained Glass Association of America, helped to facilitate the move. A crate was built to hold the window for its transport to the East Bay. It took Pederson a week to build the frame for the window and several days to install it.

"It is a beautiful window," said Pederson. The image of Mother Marie Rose, is depicted standing and holding the Bible in the window scene. The foundress is surrounded by flowers of assorted colors and leaves. "It's all hand painted and fired. It's very well made," Pederson added.

"What I know about the window is that it was commissioned by the pastor of St. Monica Parish in San Francisco in the 1940s," said Sister Carol Sellman, a Holy Names Sister currently serving as vice president for mission effectiveness at Holy Names University.

When the Sisters of the Holy Names left St. Monica School, the stained-glass window was sent to their then mother house in Los Gatos. "When the sisters were preparing to leave Los Gatos last year they asked if we would like to have the stained-glass window here at Holy Names University and we said yes," Sister Sellman added.

The stained glass window will eventually be placed in a new future building that is being planned as part of HNU's "comprehensive campaign." That new building will be called Gateway Commons "and we feel that putting that stained glass window of Mother Marie Rose in the building will exemplify the spirit and the importance of the sisters in the history of the University."

For the time being, the window has been framed and placed in the front of the chapel.

Pederson, a Lutheran, owns and operates the Sea of Glass Studio. She selected the name of her business from a phrase from the Book of Revelation — chapter 6, verse 4. She has worked at churches, private residences and public buildings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including work at the School of the Madeleine in Berkeley and Chapel of the Chimes on Oakland's Piedmont Avenue.

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