Salvaging stained glass, memories from church fire | News
KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Parishioners of St. Mary Magdalen Church will gather Tuesday night for a prayer service for their place of worship.
The service will be held in the church parking lot at 7 p.m.
The St. Mary Magdalen building was destroyed in a early Sunday morning fire.
The 56-year-old church was renovated a few years ago, and 18 new, custom-made stained glass windows were installed.
Artist Maria Orr spent three years created the window panels for the church. On Tuesday, she was there to salvage what she could of her work.
"The main entrance and the other ones -- all the windows up there -- are totally gone," said Orr on Monday. "Totally blasted away."
Orr is an artist who works for Pristine Glass in Grand Rapids. Not much is left the 18 stained glass panels she created.
"We were able to save four," she said, surveying the damage at the church. "There is some broken glass and a lot of smoke damage, but it's something that can be fixed."
Orr used members of her own family as models for many of the faces in the windows. During her salvage efforts Monday, she found the fragment with her father's face.
"It's all covered with soot, but you can kind of see once I soak it and get all the soot off, I'll have my dad's face," said Orr.
Orr is a member of the St. Mary Magdalen congregation, having attended the church since she was two years old. Orr heard the suspicion that fireworks were a possible cause of the fire that destroyed the church and her art.
"I have to believe it was an accident, and they didn't mean to do it and they learned a lesson from it,"she said. "The main reason for this church was we are all sinners and we all make mistakes, but God still loves you."
Orr donated her design fee to the church when her stained glass art was installed. She says she will welcome the opportunity