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Tour of St. Luke’s Church. Afton Hinsdale, Kelsey Grifffin , Meghan Nye . Day Noticings.

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Tour of St. Luke’s Church

Afton Hinsdale, Kelsey Grifffin, Meghan Nye


Day Noticings

  • Weather: When visiting St. Luke’s Church, it was a beautiful sunny day. We walked up to the road, turned around, and looked at the building as a whole while the wind softly breezed in the background. When turning around, the view of the church was breathtaking. Even though we had driven by the church numerous times on our excursions to and from Mercyhurst, none of us had ever stopped to take the time to notice how beautiful the church really is.
  • Architecture: The architecture of the church is amazing. When looking at it, you notice that it is made out of stone, but once you walk closer, you realize that the outside is made of a cream colored marble stone. The texture of the building is smooth. You can run your hands over the stone and it feels like the face of a baby. Walking inside, there are intricate tiles placed on the floor in patterns, as well as bricks on the walls.
  • Ceiling & Windows: When looking at the ceiling, the first thing you notice is a heart-shaped sunroof. When looking up, there are numerous amounts of stained glass that cover the sides of the shape. Either looking inside or outside, you can see this beautiful display of glass, but the beauty doesn’t stop there. When looking outside, you are immediately drawn to the windows. Each window in the church is delicately designed to display phrases or words to describe Jesus Christ. We laid down in the middle aisle of the church to look up at these windows and the sight was breathtaking. It makes you wonder how long it took to make the windows, and who got to decide what went on them.
  • 5 Senses: Looking at the church, you could see pure beauty. From the colorful stained glass, to the marble colored building, and the statues and candles inside, it was impossible not to be in awe of it’s beauty. Speaking of the candles, you were able to smell incense inside the church and freshly mowed grass outside. There was nothing to taste, or hear because the church was so calm. Lastly, you could potentially touch anything in the church, but out of respect we didn’t touch anything.

Day Noticings cont.

Ceiling and Windows

night noticings
Night Noticings
  • Weather: At night time the weather was a little chillier. The grass was moist and freshly cut. The front of the church was well lit but walking alongside the Church was very eerie and dark.
  • Architecture: The architecture remained the same at night time. The light shines on the front of the building allowing the pictures to remain very clear and give a clear view of the Church.
  • Windows: At night time the windows were not very clear because there was no light to shine through them. Unfortunately the Church was not open at night so we couldn’t view what the inside looks like at night.
  • 5 Senses: The Church at night was very pretty. The light shone right on the front making it really stand out. Unfortunately at night you can’t see the stain glass. The smell was of fresh air and cut grass. You could hear the cars go by outside and crickets in the grass. You couldn’t taste anything, but you could feel the wet grass on your feet and the cold building.

Contextual Questions and Answers

Q: Who constructed St. Luke’s Church?

A: St. Luke’s Church was constructed by Archbishop John M. Gannon


Contextual Questions and Answers

  • Q: How long did it take to build the church?
  • A:St. Luke’s was canonically established by Archbishop John Mark Gannon on September 4, 1954.  On Sunday, September 26, 1954 mass was celebrated for the first time at Christ the King Chapel, Mercyhurst College.  The construction of the school began on October 9, 1954 and the school opened on September 28, 1955.  The gym officially opened on December 5, 1955.  In March, 1956 Holy Week ceremonies were held for the first time in the new parish (gym).  The St. Luke Church cornerstone was laid on October 23, 1966 and the first Mass in the new church was celebrated at Midnight, Christmas, 1966.  The formal dedication took place on July 3, 1967 with Bishop John F. Whealon presiding.

Contextual Questions and Answers

  • Q: Why is the church named after St. Luke?
  • A:Msgr. Stack, the second pastor of St. Luke, is sure that Msgr. Goodill highly suggested the name of St. Luke.  Msgr. Goodill was very fond and devoted to the Blessed Mother.  The gospel of St. Luke has many references to Mary and her life, as well as the Magnificat.

Contextual Questions and Answers

  • Q: How many parishioners are there serving the church?
  • A: 1448 registered families

Contextual Questions and Answers

  • Q: How many years ago was it built?
  • A:The Church was built September 4, 1954

Contextual Questions and Answers

Q: How were the designs of the stained glass chosen?

A:At the invitation of the pastor, Sr. Jacqueline Schuler, RSM, who then taught 8th grade at St. Luke School, began the design of the windows.  The construction of the windows was by Winterich Studios of Cleveland.  All of the windows are integrated by the same theme – the coming of Christ, past, present and future.  The east side is the Incarnation, Christ’s first appearance on earth.  The west window is the Parousia, the last coming of Christ.  The Medieval cathedral always reserved the west side of the edifice for a representation of the Last Judgment.  The north window is a huge pillar of fire signifying the daily descent of the Holy Spirit in our lives.   The sacristy window is a reminder of the most important daily activity of the priest – that of offering the Mass. The words, “I will go to the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth,” are taken from the text of the Tridentine Mass and formerly constituted part of the “Prayers at the Foot of the Altar.”


Contextual Questions and Answers

  • Q: Who was the first Montessori?
  • A:Msgr. Robert Goodill
  • Q: What’s the biggest record of attendance?
  • A: The Church holds 800 people. Christmas Eve Mass in 1996 there was 1,126 attending

Contextual Questions and Answers

  • Q: Why was stone chosen as the façade?
  • A: Cost of the entire complex, including the stained glass windows and pews was $1.2 million.  Interior walls are of brick with quartzite stone floors, while the exterior walls are of random ashlar and Tennessee quartzite stone.  A limestone trim and high stained glass tracery give the entire edifice a majestic quality.

Contextual Questions and Answers

  • Q: Is the church involved in any charitable activities?
  • A:Altar Rosary Society, the Food Pantry, Knights of Columbus, a bereavement committee, PreCana, Cub and Boy Scouts, Daisy Scouts and Girl Scouts, a card club for anyone over the age of 55, a disability/special needs committee, a care and concern committee, religious education for public school children, Cursillo, Home Enthronement, a prayer chain, First Friday adoration, and several more

Personal Reflection- Afton

* Either leaving school to go home, or coming back from a long shopping day at the mall, I must have driven by St. Luke’s over a hundred times. I always knew it was there, but I never really took the time to look at it. When I did take the time though, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful stained glass. One night I was on my way back to school from being home for the weekend, I was driving and this brilliant blue and red light caught my eye. As I focused on what it was, I realized that it was the stained glass of St. Luke’s church. The sight was absolutely beautiful, not only is this church pretty to look at in the light, but it is magnificent in the dark as well. After taking this class, it has made me take the time to look at things more closely. By looking at St. Luke’s, I was able to see just how intricate this structure is.

personal reflection kelsey
Personal Reflection- Kelsey

* Every time I passed St. Luke’s Church on the way to school I never once thought to stop and look inside. When our group picked St. Luke’s Church as our project I looked forward to seeing the Church. I have heard many people talk about the beauty of the Church. Our group went on a beautiful day to view St. Luke’s. The outside of St. Luke’s was very intricate with carved saints on the sides and the inscriptions. Walking through the doors the stained glass was amazing. Walking through and looking at everything on the stain glass I realized how artistic stained glass is. The colors and designs form a masterpiece that makes the Church glow. Every little detail in the Church was breathtaking. I loved how the candles for prayers were all different colors to add to the colors in the stained glass. Every color seemed to stand out in the Church. In the baptismal section of the Church the marble on the wall was beautifully designed with a picture. Everything in the Church just looked as though it took so much time to perfect.


Personal Connection- Meghan

* I have driven by St. Luke's several times, and never really seemed to notice it. One Sunday I had missed mass, so I looked up times and found that St. Luke’s had a mass that I was able to get to. When I arrived I was blown away by the beauty of the church. I have to say I'm sure that I spent most of the mass looking around the church and not paying attention. When I found out about this project I immediately thought of St. Luke’s beauty and that it would be perfect to look at in more depth. When we looked through the church I got to really see all of the beauty that was displayed everywhere, yet can be so easily over looked. Being able to explore the church was a wonderful experience that I will never forget.


Symbolism of stain glass

Mind Map

Type of stones


History behind church

# of members

History behind the church

Meaning behind stain glass windows



Possible Lines of inquiry


Charity work


Social Studies



Key Ideas


Research composers of hymns sung in church

Curricular Connections

St. Luke’s Church


Count how many pews in church and figure out capacity


Language Arts

Create bulletin board

Create own church out of cardboard

Find history of the Catholic Church; make timeline

Day and Night time Noticings

5 Senses

What is the building made of?

Questions about work of art

What was the weather like?

How old is it?

Who built it?

Why was it named after St. Luke?


Why was it built?

When was it constructed?

Ceiling and Windows


Possible Lines of Inquiry

  • What is the history behind the Church?
  • What types of stone was used to make the Church?
  • What is the meaning behind the stain glass?

Key Ideas

  • Importance of the history of the Church
  • The important symbolism behind the stain glass
  • The number of people attending the Church
  • The charity work the Church partakes in

Line of Inquiry

Aesthetic: Why is St. Luke’s church so intriguing in it’s portrayal of the various elements of art using it’s stained glass windows? i.e. line, color, texture, shape, form, space and value; principles of design i.e. balance, proportion, historical significances?

Pedagogical: How does St. Luke’s Church, the architecture, and stain glass, change our perception of the environment around us? How does it impact the lives of people who experience the Church?


Curricular Connections and Activities: Math

  • For a math connection the students could go to the church and count how many pews are in the church. Then they could find out how many people can fit in each row and find out the capacity of people that could fit in the church.
  • For older children you could have them measure the church and find out how big the perimeter is of the church is.

Social Studies

  • The students, after visiting the church, could then look back through history and find out some of the history of the Catholic Church. They could research how churches were built, the materials that were used in making the church. They could also look at who in the middle ages influenced the church.

Language Arts

  • For language arts the students could get into groups and create a bulletin board. They could come up with the design, the content that they would like to include in the bulletin board, and the advertisements. They could then do drafts of their work and have group editing and then make a final copy of their bulletin that they could present to the class.


  • For art the students could get into groups and create their own church out of cardboard and other materials. They could paint it, make glass windows and design the structure of the building.
  • The students could also make glass windows that could be displayed around the classroom.


  • For music the students could find a song that is sung in church that they can relate to. For there they can research who composed the song, why they wrote it, and how long it took them to complete it. Once they have completed this they can present what they found about their song and play it for the class, and then explain their personal connection with the song.


  • Donajkowski, L. (2010, May 5). Email interview.