Last week I told you the story of how the stained glass window of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was once part of the old St. Louis Catholic Church in my home town was rediscovered, hidden after many years, behind the American Legion east wall. This window, my father swore, was behind that wall but for many years “H.H” (a friend of my dad’s) did not believe it. Twenty-five years later, as this wall was being tore down by new owners, “H.H.” happen to be standing there and recalled what my father said years earlier and how my dad wanted that window should it ever be found! At the time, my dad “Will Scheierl” was gone deer hunting with his sons (myself included) so he was nowhere to be found. The new owners of the building did not want the window and were going to destroy it when “H.H” stepped forward and said he knew just the person who take it and even pay a $100 charge . When my father returned from his trip, he was contacted by “H.H.” and given the window which came to him in many small pieces, since the leading was deteriorated so much. My dad took the pieces of the old stained glass window to Terhaar Studios in Cold Spring. They cleaned it up, re-leaded the window, and build a round oak frame to fit the circular picture itself.
With no real place to put it, my father hung it in a very prominent place in front of our living room window so all could see it who came to visit us. For my father, it was a moment of truth, an argument settled, and desire that came to a complete circle as it found a new home at our farm. Our parish priest was then asked to come bless that window once again. Just so happens, it was less than two years later that I felt a very strong call to enter seminary and my younger brother “Rick” as well. After several years of study, I was ordained a priest and my brother a permanent deacon, all the while that window of the Sacred Heart of Jesus shined.
Years went by and my father died in 1998. It was only after that time I came across an old tradition about the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which basically said, “If any home enthroned should enthrone an imagine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in their house (if God saw fit) there would be a vocation to some religious life come from that house.” Hmmm….
What are the odds of that one person, “H.H,” happened to be standing there when this window was rediscovered, the only person who knew my father wanted that image and so my father ended up with it even though he was nowhere around at the time. And, what are the odds that two religious vocations would come out of our house shortly there-after, part of an old tradition and promise regarding the Sacred Heart? God, indeed works in mysterious ways!
Now, both my parents have died and are gone, so to honor them and to keep my father’s dream alive, when I built my log cabin on the farm, I designed it specifically so that stained-glass window would be built into the peak of my living room for everyone to see on that wall. Seems the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus still shines!
“Now you know the rest of the story….” As Paul Harvey would say! Post Script: Coming soon, please check our St. Peter and St. Paul Parish website if you want to see the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus I have been talking about on my log cabin wall! Words to live by: “Joy is not in what we own, but in who we are.”