The Cathedral has a rich heritage in its stained glass windows.
Photographer: Gerard Lewis.
Camera House- Sturt St, Ballarat.
Design & compiled - Rev G Jones. Diocese of Ballarat
* The Cathedral was constructed in stages, and originally the windows contained coloured glass. The style of the Church is Gothic, from the reign of Edward 1st in the 13th century. Dimensions are 150 ft by 100ft.
* The Ballarat Star newspaper of August 5, 1871, reported that the windows ‘contain stone tracery of the richest design, and the effect produced is elegant’, and that the windows would eventually be filled with stained glass.
* Presumably then the windows as we know them today date from that time.
* The main chancel window is dedicated to the memory of Miss Caroline Carpenter, and is dated 1883.
* The Lady Chapel and Blessed Sacrament Chapel windows were installed in May 1890.
* In the restoration of the Cathedral in 2000 -the tabernacle was restored to its original place of intention. These three windows are of German origin: note their slight variation in colour and design from the rest of the windows.
Bishop Higgins (1905-1915) did much to beautify the interior of the Cathedral.
* This third Bishop of Ballarat donated the St. Patrick window (No.15), which is complementary to the St. Brigid window (No. 1) given by the Loreto Institute in memory of the first Bishop of Ballarat.
* There is a theme of parables on the left-hand side, and miracles on the right-hand side, of the Cathedral.
* Records reveal that in the period 1907-10 the series of Our Lord’s miracles were placed in position, the window (No. 14) dedicated to Very Rev Thomas Guilfoyle, costing £150.
* These windows are documented as having been supplied by John Hardman & Co. of Birmingham, England, as obviously is the Prodigal window (No.3), which has the name ‘Hardman’ cut into the glass at the bottom of the window.
* This firm appears to have supplied most of the windows, apart from the sanctuary, throughout the 19th century and early 20th century.
Throughout the 19th Century and early 20th Century
In the early 1950’s the ‘elegant stone tracery’ in sandstone was found to have deteriorated badly. The then Cathedral Administrator, Mons Leo Fiscalini, had the windows removed and dispatched to Melbourne for re-leading of the stained glass. All the supporting stonework was renewed in Hawkesbury River stone, the best in Australia, by Lodge Bros of Melbourne, whose workmen from Malta executed the stone-carving work. The project was completed at a cost of 20, 000 pounds.
WINDOW 1 ~ ST. BRIGID- ABBESS OF KILDARE
Feast day February 1st .
‘The Mary of the Gael’ is surrounded by many legends, but is reputed to have been strong, compassionate and of great charity. She is regarded as the initiator and abbess of the first women’s religious community among the Irish, and appears to have held a unique position in the Irish church even in her lifetime, exercising a strong influence on its early growth.
She is shown here instructing the people (note the crosier — traditional mark of a Bishop). The window depicts the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove at the top and two mitres underneath, with the figures of Jesus, Peter and James on the left and a stole bearing crosses on the right, signifying priesthood.
This window presented by the Community of Loreto Sisters, in memory of Most Rev. Michael O’Connor, first Bishop of Ballarat (1874-1883).