Saint Joseph's Church
St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Parish was founded by Father Joseph Denischuk CSsR in 1952. As one of fifteen Ukrainian churches in Winnipeg, St. Joseph's belongs to a rich and faithful Ukrainian culture and tradition found in Western Canada.
Our studio was commissioned to introduce sacred artwork into a space devoid of any religious imagery. The designs created were dictated by the architecture of the church and serve to highlight the structure as well as the Holy Liturgy.
We chose the Feast of the Nativity for the largest stained glass composition because the entire wall consisted of glass panels. The new composition depicts the Nativity of Jesus in its traditional understanding according to Eastern Iconography. The design powerfully portrays the Heavenly Kingdom penetrating the earthly Cosmos, pointing to the Star of Bethlehem which, in turns, directs the viewer to the Infant Jesus.
The iconostasis we designed for St. Joseph's unifies two conflicting traditions: the old tradition of the iconostasis as a wall of icons and the new tradition of fourth-generation Ukrainian-Catholics who resisted the idea of the iconostasis in a church.
We were able to maintain a level of transparency in the iconostasis by incorporating by incorporating sandblasted glass panels in the design so that both the clergy of the old tradition and the lay-people of the newer tradition were pleased with the design.
The icons in the iconostasis were written using the medium of egg-yolk tempera. Each panel was first prepared by hand with multiple layers of gesso which were then sanded to a smooth finish. Pigments are then mixed with egg-yolk and water, and carefully layered to create to create the final icon.
The icon of the Hodegetria is always included in the iconostasis to the left of the Royal Doors. In the icon, Mary is pointing to her son, Jesus Christ, as the source of salvation of mankind. Her garments are traditionally blue/green and red, symbolizing her divine nature and her humanity
Christ the Teacher
The icon of Christ the Teacher is always included in the iconostasis to the right of the Royal Doors, as He sits at the right hand of God. He is traditionally depicted in red and blue garments, symbolizing His humanity and His divinity. The yellow sash symbolizes His royal position as King of the universe.
The Royal Doors
Located in the center of the iconostasis, the Royal Doors symbolize the gates to Paradise. They always include the four Evangelists. Underneath the Evangelists is the icon of the Annunciation. Etched into glass on two panels flanking the icon of the Annunciation are two Seraphims.
Monogram of the Virgin Mary
Located underneath the Hodegetria Icon. The crown symbolizes the royal bloodline of Jesus Christ. The star and rose are symbols of Mary.
Chi Rho Christogram
Located underneath the icon of Christ the Teacher. The Chi Rho Christogram is derived from the first two letters in the Greek word for Christ. Included is Alpha and Omega; symbolizing him as the beginning and the end
Crest and Motto of the Redemptorists
Located underneath the icon of St. Vasyl Velychkovsky. The panel shows the crest and motto of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.
Symbol of Saint Joseph
Located underneath the icon of St. Joseph. The symbol shows his symbols of the lily and carpenter's square. The lily represents his virtue, holiness and chastity. The carpenter's square indicates his profession and status as the Patron Saint of carpenters.