Tour of the Church

The current St. Anthony Church Building was masterminded by Fr. Michael Maslowsky, designed by Nancy Merryman and Diana Moosman of Robertson Merryman and Barnes Architects and constructed in 1999.  Fr. Mike came to a greater understanding of architecture while studying in Rome and didn’t think that the reconfiguration of churches after Vatican II worked liturgically nor aesthetically (cf The Oregonian, Apr 30, 1999, by Randy Gragg).  When brainstorming about possible layouts for St. Anthony Church, he sketched out an idea of a floor plan using two yogurt cups in his dialogue with the architects.  They used it to design a traditional church nave with two arms on either side that embrace the congregation.

All of the artwork was donated by people outside the parish. We would never have the high level of art within our parish if it weren’t for these donations. In addition, all the art was made by artists who had never done religious art before. Fr. Mike said that this made them unconstrained in their designs and open to capture the symbolism that he had in mind for each respective piece.

The Narthex: The first arm (or curved wall) draws one into the narthex/vestibule of the Church. On the left is a statue of our Patron Saint, Anthony of Padua, and a quote by him.

Narthex of St. Anthony

Straight ahead in the Narthex is the Pieta. This is a replica of the famous Pieta of Michelangelo that sits in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.


St. Anthony’s Baptismal Font

Baptismal Font:  This is the focal point of the narthex.  It is a full immersion baptismal font made out of concrete that was designed by Fr. Maslowsky.  The metal railings were added as a safety precaution in December of 2018.

Baptismal Stained Glass Window: The window that graces the Baptismal Font with light was designed by Robert Middlestead, an artist from New Zealand. In Baptism, the Holy Spirit breathes new life into us, making us a new creation. The Holy Spirit was present in the beginning and was the active agent when God created all things. “Spirit” in Hebrew also means breath or wind. The smooth, curved, swirling pattern of the stained glass window is an allusion to the Spirit which is like the wind that “blows where it wills” (John 3:8) and moves with meaning and purpose. One can possibly see a sail in the window catching some of that wind. The colors evoke the colors of creation: the blue of the sky and water, the green of terra firma.

When we are baptized, we are baptized into the name of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is captured by 3 Yellow Triangular Shapes. Twelve Red Triangles (all 12 in photo above) represent the tongues of fire that came down on the 12 Disciples when the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost. Finally, it appears that the artist placed an orange colored “A” in the window for Anthony (an interpretation…). Maybe this signifies that we, St. Anthony Parish are caught up in the Holy Spirit, have been enlivened by God’s Spirit and are being guided by the Spirit’s counsel.

The Cross: We are baptized into the death of Christ (Romans 6:3). Submerging in the water represents death–death to sin. Then we rise to new life when we rise out of the water. We die to the “old person” and are born again as a new creation. The cross of Jesus represents this death and it is Jesus’ death on the cross that liberates us from sin and gives us new life.

Finally, for the Jews, the Temple was their Holy Place. It was Holy because it was where God dwelt. When the Babylonians destroyed the Temple in 597 BC, the Prophet Ezekiel explained that God abandoned the Temple before its destruction. Then he prophesied that God would return to purify the Temple, to dwell with them again. At this time water would flow forth from the side of the Temple for the renewal of the earth. One could say that this is fulfilled in Jesus who is the new/true Temple of God who at his death, water flowed from his side.

When one is in the church, one can hear the flowing of the water from the Cross in the Baptismal Font. This reminds us of the flowing water, the life giving water that Jesus gives us.  It is reminiscent of the conversation that Jesus had with the Samaritan Woman at the well.  Jesus told her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, `Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water (fresh, flowing water)…Everyone who drinks of this water (well water) will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:10, 13-14).

The Confessional: Before one enters the Nave (the main body of the church), one finds the door to the Confessional on the right.  This is where the Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated.   

There is a stained glass window in here that separates the priest from the penitent, enabling one to go to the sacrament with anonymity.  If one wishes, one can go to the Sacrament face to face as well. 

On one of the walls of the Confessional is a back-lit stained glass window that came from our basement church during the years 1955-1999. The Crucifix on the wall is the Crucifix that graced the back wall of the sanctuary of our old basement church.

Processional Cross: Our Processional Cross was made by parishioner, Steve Stevenson in around the year 2015. It is backlit.

Holy Water Font:  As one begins to enter the Nave of the Church, there is a small Holy Water Font on the left that has a Bronze Statue of John the Baptist in it.  It was a gift to the church from Senator Hatfield and his wife.  The basin is in the shape of a shell.  Baptismal fonts are placed at the front of church to remind us that we first entered the Church through Baptism.  When one dips ones finger in the water, one crosses oneself in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in whose Name we have been baptized.

The Cry Room:  The Cry Room is right behind the Holy Water Font and is the place where parents can sit with their young children who might make noise. Within the cry room is a speaker that enables the parents to hear the Mass. The stained glass window also came from our basement church during the years 1955-1999.

Christ the King and his Queen Mother Statue: On the right side and set back is a statue of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus. This statue was placed in the church by Fr. James Mayo sometime between 2003-2005 and is made out of wood.

The statue shows Jesus and the Virgin Mary wearing crowns, Jesus holding the world in his hands and Mary holding a scepter.  A scepter is an ornamented staff carried by King, Queen or ruler that is symbolic of their sovereignty.  So, why does Mary have a crown and a scepter?  The Old Testament gives evidence that the mothers of the Kings of Judah (the Davidic Kingdom) were given a special role.  The word that was used for them in Hebrew was gebirah.  It was the feminine form the word for Lord or Master.  It meant, “great lady” or “queen.”  The “Queen Mother” shared in her son’s reign, had influence and some power and had the ear of the king.  The wife of the king did not have the same elevated status.  The Blessed Virgin Mary is depicted in the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel as the Queen Mother of the long awaited Messiah.  She presents her son, the “Davidic King,” to the Magi who came to worship the new king.  Of the many titles Mary holds in the Church, the “Queen of Heaven” and the “Mother of the Church” are related to the Queen Mother image.

We have votive candles under this statue and next to the statue of the Pieta that can be lit.  Votive candles in Catholic Churches are often placed in front of a statue of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary or another Saint.  The word votive comes from the Latin word votum which means vow and signifies that the person has made a vow to pray for someone/something.  Often, the one lighting the candle is asking the Saint, before whom the candle sits, to assist them with their prayers. One can pray here on the kneeler as well.

The Nave:  As one enters the nave (the main body of the Church), one passes through doors that are symbolic of the “narrow gate” that Jesus talks about (cf Mt 7:14) that leads to life.  As one passes through the doors there is a section in the ceiling above that gradually expands and angles up.

Then one’s gaze is lifted high up to a barrel vaulted ceiling from which hang blown glass globes.  This is all symbolic of the move from finite human life through the narrow gate to the expanse of heaven.  The ceiling is painted blue to represent the sky and the globes represent the stars.  The carpet is green, evoking the color of the earth.  Genesis 1 describes all of creation as God’s Temple and the Jews considered Solomon’s Temple to be a model or mini-version of the Cosmos—God’s true Temple.  Consequently, they had symbols of Creation and the Cosmos in Solomon’s Temple. Our Church has carried over this theme of the Temple.  We worship in a mini-version of God’s Cosmos. 

This theme is picked up as well in the Gold beam in the church above the left transept arm, the Gold door frame of our adoration chapel/tower and the gold wall in the sanctuary—all made with real Gold-leaf.  The Jewish Temple was resplendent in Gold and was built with blocks of stone.  The Gold in our church has a block pattern in it.

On the right side of the nave (left side in photo), one sees clerestory windows high up that cast a beam of light across the Church. They have a quasi-cross shape. On the left side of the church (right side in the photo) are windows in the same quasi-cross shape that open a view to the community outside. Fr. Mike wanted these windows to be clear, so as to make the community visible outside. We see the world through Christ. The significance to the clear windows is also that the Church is not meant to be shut off from the world or to be a secret society removed from the world. The Church exists for the sake of the world. In addition, the sacred is not just within the church building, but the holy is to be found within human beings in the real world.

The Left Transept Arm: This is the part of the Nave that juts out to the left.  It has a large, clear window that give a view of the community outside, the piazza of St. Anthony Village and the fountain that was there originally. This is the area where the cantor and the pianist/organist play.  This is also where the choir will sing.  Fr. Mike also put a large clear window here because he wanted to bathe the altar and sanctuary in light.


Stations of the Cross:  Also on the right, the Stations of the Cross are set within shallow niches which are reminiscent of the numerous side chapels that are on the back or perimeter of large basilicas or cathedrals.  Michael J. Magrath designed the Stations of the Cross and in 2000 won a Religious Art and Architecture Design Award from the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA).  A graduate of Reed College, Michael was an Instructor in Sculpture and Public Art, Wood and Metal Fabrication, Moldmaking and casting at the University of Washington.  From 2004 to the present, he has been teaching figure sculpture and drawing at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.

Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

When Fr. Mike asked the artist if he wanted to sculpt our Stations of the Cross, he balked at the opportunity because he had never done any religious art.   Fr. Mike told him that if he took on the project he would have to read the Passion accounts of Jesus in the Gospels, immerse himself in the experience and walk the stations in his work.  The artist accepted the challenge, sequestered himself like a hermit and applied himself to understanding what Jesus went through.  He had a lot of questions about the Gospel accounts that Fr. Mike would address in regular meetings with the artist.  The artist had several photos of a potential model for Jesus.  Fr. Mike vetoed every single one.  The artist showed Fr. Mike one last photo, which Fr. Mike accepted.  The artist revealed to Fr. Mike that this photo was of a man who slept under the Burnside Bridge—a homeless man.  Apparently, the man had been a professor at a university and eventually, substance abuse got the better of him and he ended up on the streets. When the artist asked why Fr. Mike chose him, he replied that he was captivated by the nobility and also the sadness in the man’s face.  Fr. Mike worked with the artist every step of the way. 

When the artist got to the Crucifixion, he said that he had a block.  He said that he just couldn’t seem to capture what it means to crucify God.  Fr. Mike suggested that he sculpt just the hand of Jesus.  The finished work is a moving, life-sized depiction of Jesus’ pierced hand.  Right after the Stations of the Cross were presented to the church, Fr. Mike witnessed how a parishioner was touched by Jesus’ suffering when placing his hand into the painful hand of Jesus.

The Stations of the Cross is a meditation on the events surrounding the death of Jesus: his sentence, carrying the cross and his crucifixion and death.  Catholics practice this devotion normally during the Season of Lent (the 40 days before Easter).  It began with the practice of pilgrims visiting Jerusalem and walking in the footsteps of Jesus on his way to the Cross.  During the 15th and 16th Centuries, the Franciscans built paths with outdoor shrines similar to the various stops (or stations) that pilgrims set up in Jerusalem on Jesus’ way to the Cross.  This spread and now every Catholic Church has Stations of the Cross in them or outside the church. The amount of stations has varied between 7 and 30.  Seven was common, but today we normally have 14 stations.

Stations of the Cross

Click on the images below:

Mark 15:1-15: And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate.
 2 And Pilate asked him, 'Are you the King of the Jews?' And he answered him, 'You have said so.'
 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things.
 4 And Pilate again asked him, 'Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.'
 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate wondered.
 6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked.
 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas.
 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he was wont to do for them.
 9 And he answered them, 'Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?'
 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.
 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.
 12 And Pilate again said to them, 'Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?'
 13 And they cried out again, 'Crucify him.'
 14 And Pilate said to them, 'Why, what evil has he done?' But they shouted all the more, 'Crucify him.'
 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Mark 15:16-20: And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the praetorium); and they called together the whole battalion.
 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him.
 18 And they began to salute him, 'Hail, King of the Jews!'
 19 And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him.
 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
Psalm 38:12-17,19-22: Those who seek my life lay their snares, those who seek my hurt speak of ruin, and meditate treachery all the day long.
 13 But I am like a deaf man, I do not hear, like a dumb man who does not open his mouth.
 14 Yea, I am like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
 15 But for thee, O LORD, do I wait; it is thou, O LORD my God, who wilt answer.
 16 For I pray, ‘Only let them not rejoice over me, who boast against me when my foot slips!’
 17 For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me… 19 Those who are my foes without cause are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
 20 Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good.
 21 Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!
 22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!
Psalm 22:1-18: To the choirmaster: according to The Hind of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
 2 O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest.
 3 Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
 4 In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
 5 To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.
 6 But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people.
 7 All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads;
 8 ‘He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!’
 9 Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother's breasts.
 10 Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God.
 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help.
 12 Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast;
 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death.
 16 Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet --
 17 I can count all my bones -- they stare and gloat over me;
 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.
Mark 15:21: And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. Psalm 28:7-9:  The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
 9 O save thy people, and bless thy heritage; be thou their shepherd, and carry them forever.
Psalm 40:8-13,16-17: ‘I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart.’
 9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; lo, I have not restrained my lips, as thou knowest, O LORD.
 10 I have not hid thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness from the great congregation.
 11 Do not thou, O LORD, withhold thy mercy from me, let thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness ever preserve me!
 12 For evils have encompassed me without number; my iniquities have overtaken me, till I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.
 13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!
 16 But may all who seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; may those who love thy salvation say continually, ‘Great is the LORD!’
Psalm 34:17-22: When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
 18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
 20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
 21 Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
 22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Luke 23:27-31: And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him.
 28 But Jesus turning to them said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, `Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!'
 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, `Fall on us'; and to the hills, `Cover us.'
 31 For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’
Psalm 143:1-11: A Psalm of David. Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my supplications! In thy faithfulness answer me, in thy righteousness!
 2 Enter not into judgment with thy servant; for no man living is righteous before thee.
 3 For the enemy has pursued me; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
 4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.
 5 I remember the days of old, I meditate on all that thou hast done; I muse on what thy hands have wrought.
 6 I stretch out my hands to thee; my soul thirsts for thee like a parched land. Selah
 7 Make haste to answer me, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not thy face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the Pit.
 8 Let me hear in the morning of thy steadfast love, for in thee I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to thee I lift up my soul.
 9 Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies! I have fled to thee for refuge!
 10 Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God! Let thy good spirit lead me on a level path!
 11 For thy name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In thy righteousness bring me out of trouble!
Mark 15:22-24: And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).
 23 And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it.
 24 And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.  Isaiah 53:3-11: He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.
 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand;
 11 he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities.
Mark 15:25-32: And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.
 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, ‘The King of the Jews.’
 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days,
 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!’
 31 So also the chief priests mocked him to one another with the scribes, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself.
 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.’ Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
Mark 15:33-39: And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’
 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, ‘Behold, he is calling Elijah.’
 36 And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’
 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.
 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’
Mark 15:40-46: There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome,
 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him; and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
 42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.
 44 And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.
 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.
 46 And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud,
Mark 15:46-47: and (Joseph of Arimathea) laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.
 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
Mark 16:1-4: And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
 2 And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.
 3 And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?’
 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; -- it was very large.

The Risen/Ascending Christ:  This was designed by the same artist that made the Stations of the Cross, Michael J. Magrath. Typically, Catholic Churches have Crucifixes on the back wall of the Sanctuary.  All Catholic Churches are supposed to have a crucifix on or near the Altar.  Our church has the Risen/Ascending Christ on the back wall.  However, we also have a standing Bronze (I think) Crucifix in the Sanctuary.  Fr. Maslowsky chose the Risen Christ for the back wall because the focus of our faith is not the cross, but the Resurrection of Jesus.  “Without the Resurrection,” Fr. Mike said, “Jesus is just another victim of a meaningless crime.”  It also ties in with the Empty Tomb/Resurrection motif of the back wall of the Sanctuary (described below).

Christ, the High Priest Stained Glass Window:  On the right side of the Sanctuary is a beautiful multi-colored stained glass window representing Christ, the High Priest. It was designed by designed by Robert Middlestead.  Around the Winter Solstice every year, the sun is low enough to cast a colorful reflection of this window onto the back wall of the Sanctuary.  Throughout the year it casts its colorful reflection on the altar where Christ the High Priest offers his life for us. 

Special materials were used for the Jewish Temple: Gold, Silver and Bronze were used and the curtains of the Temple were woven with gold, blue, purple and scarlet yarn (cf Exodus 26ff).  The Jewish High Priest also wore the same colors.  He wore a white tunic.  Over this he wore a blue robe with fringes made of bells and woven Pomegranates. Over this robe he wore an Ephod that was embroidered with gold, blue, purple and scarlet yarn.  He had an Onyx stone over each of his shoulders with the names of 6 of the Jewish Tribes on each.  Tied to this Ephod was a breastplate that had four rows of 12 precious stones representing all 12 Tribes.  Early on, the Urim and Thummim—two things that were used to discern God’s will—were placed within the breastplate.  The breastplate and the appropriate High Priest’s colors are depicted in our window.  The Jewels in the window also point to the image of Christ the King.

There is one large stone that is also meant to represent the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Is there more symbolism that the artist inserted in this work of art?  Maybe the Trinity is represented.  The Son of God as the High Priest is obviously manifested.  One might also see an image of a Dove/Bird representing the Holy Spirit.  Finally, God the Father might be represented by the translucent cloud-like part of the window at the top.

The Sanctuary: The sanctuary is the focal point of the church where the altar and ambo are located.  It is the place where Christ offers himself as a sacrifice for us.  The Sanctuary is bordered on the right by the Stained Glass Window of Jesus the High Priest.  The presider’s chair originally was up against this window, because the presider represents Christ the head of the body.  Consequently, the priest at St. Anthony originally was at a right angle to the congregation.  Fr. Mike said that the priest isn’t meant to be the focal point of the Mass.  The focal point is what Christ is doing on the altar.  The priest is a servant of Christ. 

The Gold wall on the back right is reminiscent of the Jewish Temple where the priests would offer sacrifice.  The light from the stained glass window falls across the altar on which Christ offers his life for us.  Around the altar are Bronze candelabras from Italy.  These are meant to look rough like they are hewn of stone—the kind of fixtures that could have been in the Temple.  The coarse texture on the back wall of the sanctuary is also to hearken back to the rough stonework of the Temple in Jerusalem.  The primary building material in the Holy Land is rock.

The Back Wall of the Sanctuary (this is the second arm or curved wall embracing the church):  As one looks toward the back wall one sees a niche cut out of the wall and a yellow stained glass window behind it.  This niche represents the empty tomb of Jesus and thus the wall of the niche has the rough texture of rock.  On Easter morn Jesus rose just before sunrise.  As one looks at the niche one is facing East. The window, with its curvature, represents the rising sun on Easter morn.  It also represents the glory of the Jesus at his Resurrection.  There is a shaft of yellow that shoots upward that one can see through the niche.  As we look through the niche we are reminded of the Glory of Jesus’ Resurrection as the sun was rising on Easter morn.  This is what we are celebrating at Mass: the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Outside the empty tomb is the Resurrected Jesus.

The Eye of God Stained Glass Window:  The window at the top of the front of the Nave evokes the large Rose Windows found in old Cathedrals.  It was also designed by Robert Middlestead.  Fr. Mike called this window, “The Eye of God.”

Throughout the year it casts its colorful reflection along the wall of the church.  Around the Spring and Fall Equinox every year, the sun is at the right place in the sky to cast a colorful reflection of this window onto the back wall of the Sanctuary at sunset.  Fr. Mike chose Red to be the primary color in the window because he wanted it to represent the Passion of Jesus.  You can’t have the Resurrection without the Cross.

This is what the reflection from the stained glass window looks like at two different times of the year–in one photo

Thus, the Red light (of the Passion) from this window is meant to stream across the church, across the altar of sacrifice and lead to the Resurrection.  Death is for life, the cross leads to Resurrection/new life.  This is what our faith professes!!

The Four-Fold Presence of Christ:  There are crosses in 4 key areas of the Church: On the back of the priest’s chair, on the face of the altar, on the face of the lectern and along the wall.  These represent the 4-fold presence of Christ at Mass.  Christ is present in the Eucharistic Bread and Wine on the Altar, in the Preaching of the Word at the Lectern/Ambo, in the priest who represents Christ the head and in the people of the congregation who are the body of Christ. These crosses are shaped like the logo of the Archdiocese at that time.  This was a way of tying the parish to the local Church.

These crosses and the “Eye of God” Stained Glass Window are shaped like the logo of the Archdiocese at that time. This was a way of tying the parish to the local Church.

Former Archdiocesan Logo

Adoration Chapel/Tower:  To the back left is our Adoration Chapel/Tower.  One of the purposes of this space was to have an appropriate place of honor, separate from behind the altar, for the tabernacle (more on the Tabernacle below). 

Fr. Mike wanted our church to have a tower.  In Europe, every village has a church tower and it is one of the focal points in the town square.  Thus, the Church doesn’t exist in isolation but has always been right in the heart of village life.  Our tower evokes the bell towers that grace many churches, but ours does not have a bell.  There are two, tall Cross-shaped windows that face the North and East sides of the church.  During the day it draws light into the tall bell tower.  At night, when the tower is lit-up inside, these bright, cross shaped windows can be seen shining forth outside: one toward busy 82nd Ave and the other toward St. Anthony’s Village. 

As one gazes at the adoration chapel one sees a room with light streaming down from above.  This is akin to our gazing at God:  we see glimpses of God, but there is always more which is hidden from our sight.  Even in heaven, there will always be newness with God;  there will always be more to learn, because God is infinite.  You’ve probably heard people say that they can’t wait to get to heaven because then all their questions will be answered.  There’s some truth to this.  But, eternity will be an endless getting to know more about God.  The chairs and kneelers in the chapel are set up so people can do Adoration Prayer before the Tabernacle.  There are 4 lights that hang down.  The current, suspended white lights are replacements.  The original lights were made of Red Blown Glass that Fr. Mike had made in Italy.  They were made to represent orbs of fire, like thuribles in which incense is burned in the Temple before the Holy of Holies, where God dwelt.  This adoration chapel is our “Holy of Holies.”

Painting of Jesus in the Adoration Chapel

There is a painting of Jesus on the wall of this chapel that was a gift to Fr. Mike from Nani Warren, a life trustee of the Portland Art Museum.  She was at an art gallery in California and an artist there said that he had just completed a religious piece of art for the first time.  When she saw it, she thought of Fr. Mike and bought it for him.  The artist said that when he was in a church in Italy, an image of Jesus came to him.  When he returned to the States, he decided to capture it on canvas.  Fr. Mike hung the painting in the adoration chapel.  Soon afterward, a prelate from Europe was visiting Fr. Mike and saw the painting.  He was struck by it because he had been put in charge of Blessed Faustina’s shrine and thought that the image in our painting was similar to the image Faustina saw of Jesus.

Tabernacle: The Tabernacle is the centerpiece of the Adoration Chapel/Tower. This Bronze Tabernacle was made in Rome and it goes with the Bronze Candelabras. It is meant to evoke Jesus’ tomb which held him for a time. On the front it has a door in the shape of a Eucharistic Host. It has a Christian Symbol inscribed on it—the Chi Rho. It represents the first two letters of the word Christ in Greek: X and P. The tabernacle in Catholic Churches is where the leftover Consecrated Eucharistic Hosts are saved after Mass. The purpose is to have a place where consecrated hosts can be kept so that from there they can be brought to the sick or elderly, who were not able to be present at Mass. We believe that Christ is present in the Consecrated Hosts that are in the tabernacle. To show that there are consecrated Hosts in the Tabernacle, we have a red candle kindled before it.

The Sacristy: The sacristy is where all the sacred vessels and sacred garments are kept, in addition to candles and whatever else is used in the Mass. Our Sacristy is located behind the back wall of the sanctuary.

Exiting the Church: When one exits the church there is an awning above (to protect from the Portland rains) and at the top right there is another rectangular niche like the one on the back wall of the Sanctuary. This is to remind us that the tomb is empty as we go forth from Mass. Jesus is risen, he is risen indeed!!!

Statue of the Pregnant Virgin Mary in her 3rd Trimester: This Bronze Statue is outside the church and functions for us like a Grotto. It was also designed by Michael J. Magrath. It was donated to the Church at a cost of $75,000. A copy of this sculpture is at Assumption Village.