Stained Glass, Soldiers’ Tower, University of Toronto, Remembrance Day, 2010

Stained Glass, Soldiers' Tower, University of Toronto, Rememberance Day, 2010

The stained glass windows in the Memorial Room of Soldiers’ Tower, built to honor the memory of the 1,185 members of the University of Toronto who gave their life in the First World War, and expanded to honor those who fell in the Second. Symbolizing the sacrifice, and memorializing the honoured dead, the windows are based upon the famous poem by University of Toronto Alumnus Lt. Col. John McCrae, “In Flanders Fields”:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Battle of Vimy Ridge Memorial Window, Soldiers' Tower, University of Toronto, Rememberance Day, 2010

This window memorializes the dead of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the first time all four units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together, suffering heavy losses and, according to some, birthing a national, Canadian, identity.

Abbey Church, St. John’s University, Minnesota, 2010

Abbey Church Exterior Detail, St. John's University, Minnesota, 2010

An arch holding up the bell tower (if tower is the right word) hangs over a set of concrete seats, next to the entrance to the abbey church, St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota.


The modernist foyer and baptismal font in the Abbey Church. The statue is St. John the Baptist by Doris Caesar.


An overview of the interior, showing the altar, and behind it the futuristic throne of the abbot. The pews, angular and concrete, are extremely uncomfortable, apparently a purposeful design decision, coupled with the brutalism of the architecture and the bareness of the concrete, underscoring the ascetic quality of monastic life.


A stairway leading to the balcony shows the beautiful quality of the windows, contrasting against the bareness of the concrete, at the Abbey Church of St. John’s.


The front windows, as seen from the balcony of the Abbey Church of St. John’s. The backlit tops of the pews may be faintly seen in the dark lower section of the image.