Stories in Light
A Guide to the Stained Glass of the Basilica at the University of Notre Dame
200 pages, 5.50 x 9.25
Paperback | 9780268107420 | March 2020
eBook (PDF) | 9780268107444 | March 2020
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame contains one of the largest collections of late nineteenth-century French stained glass outside of France. The French Gothic–inspired church has forty-four large stained glass windows containing two hundred and twenty scenes. Today, more than 100,000 visitors tour the basilica each year to admire its architecture or participate in the beautiful liturgies. Honoring both the Sacred Heart and the Virgin Mary, the vibrant windows have, for more than a century, drawn visitors and worshippers alike into a conversation with the art and faith found in the windows.
This informative and conveniently sized guidebook tells the unique story of the windows: the improbable creation of a glassworks by cloistered Carmelite nuns in LeMans, France, and their stained glass that so perfectly illuminated the late nineteenth-century French Catholic spirituality of the Congregation of Holy Cross, who established the University of Notre Dame. The words of Father Edward Sorin, CSC, founder of the university, are featured throughout the text. He saw the basilica and its windows as an avenue for teaching this spirituality. The book describes the windows according to their location in the building, from the narthex at the entrance to the Lady Chapel behind the altar. Full-color photographs provide a detailed view of the scenes found in each window. These photos are accompanied by informed commentary on the historical and theological importance of the windows, the iconography of featured saints, and how they illuminate the work of the Holy Cross to educate both mind and spirit. Stories in Light is an easy-to-read book written for all who visit the basilica, including faculty, students, alumni, and friends and family of Notre Dame, and for readers everywhere who want to know more about the rich history and heritage of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart’s stained glass.
Nancy Cavadini (Marquette University, M.A. in Theology) has served in religious formation for the Congregation of Holy Cross and as an ecumenical and interfaith officer.
Cecilia Davis Cunningham (Florida State University, M.A. in Art History) became a tour guide at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in 1999. Her years of teaching have allowed her to introduce numerous visitors to the art and history of the basilica.
“A beautifully illustrated and impressively informative volume, Stories in Light: A Guide to the Stained Glass of the Basilica at the University of Notre Dame is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library. . . collections.” ~Midwest Book Review
“This book is an intriguing guide to the Basilica’s stained glass windows and a must-have during any visit. Not only is it a convenient and informative resource to have while at the Basilica, it is also a worthy tool to take home for studying the many saints, angels, and scenes of the life of Christ represented here in a visually engaging way.” ~David Judson, president of the Stained Glass Association of America
"This is an important guide for understanding one of the most monumental buildings at the University of Notre Dame. It is an exemplar of how a work of art can express a theological vision. The publication of Stories in Light is a great gift for friends of Notre Dame and of sacred art in general." ~Duncan Stroik, University of Notre Dame
"Local scholars Cecilia Davis Cunningham and Nancy Cavadini draw upon their respective backgrounds in art history and theology to tell the story of one of the basilica’s true artistic treasures—and the many stories it contains—illuminating the ties between the founding of the University and the revival of a sacred art form that the authors say is both quintessentially religious and French to the depths of its soul." ~Notre Dame Magazine
“The authors hope readers, whether at home or in the Basilica itself, use their book to pause, reflect and look closely at the artworks in front of them. ‘This way, you can learn something new every time you go in the Basilica,’ Cunningham says.” ~South Bend Tribune