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Originally published Sunday, November 25, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Saving pieces of history

Beautiful. Peaceful. Serene. These are a few of the words parishioners use to describe the 83-year-old stained-glass windows at St. Anthony's Chapel in Kent...

Special to The Seattle Times

Fundraising event for St. Anthony's

What: Taproot Theatre Company presents "The Other Wise Man." The play will be followed by an open house at St. Anthony's Chapel.

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Holy Spirit Church, 310 Third Ave. S., Kent

Tickets: $5 for students, $10 for adults

Information: 253-859-0444, www.holyspiritkent.org

Beautiful. Peaceful. Serene.

These are a few of the words parishioners use to describe the 83-year-old stained-glass windows at St. Anthony's Chapel in Kent.

"They tell the story of the people that went before us," said Cathy Peters, pastoral associate for administration at St. Anthony's.

But the aging windows are bulging and cracking, and to be saved, they need to be fixed and the congregation has launched a campaign to raise more than $100,000 to pay for repairs to the chapel's 27 stained-glass windows.

The damage, discovered recently during a maintenance assessment, is particularly bad in five of the windows. As the building has settled over the years, the lead in the windows has sagged, bowed and cracked, causing some of the glass to crack and bulge.

Some of the windows can be repaired at the chapel, but others will have to be sent out to be repaired and repainted. Bids have estimated the total at $100,000 to $119,000.

The work is expected to take more than six months to complete.

The church has not budgeted for a project as large and costly as the window repair and needs to raise the money to pay for it.

The fundraising effort starts with a play, "The Other Wise Man," to be performed Friday at Holy Spirit Church in Kent.

The windows, made by Povey Brothers Glass Co. of Portland, feature several saints, including the chapel's namesake, and the apostolic founders of the church.

Displayed in groups of three and interspersed between the Stations of the Cross, each window replicates a Biblical painting, telling the story in stained glass.

The window grouping with St. Anthony features the patron saint with baby Jesus in his left hand. Surrounded by halos of gold, St. Anthony and Jesus are brought to life in a landscape depicted in vivid greens, blues and browns.

The center window is flanked with less ornate side windows, each with the influence of Louis Tiffany and Frank Lloyd Wright in the designs.

The chapel was completed in 1924. In 1994, a new church was built to accommodate a growing congregation, and it was named Holy Spirit Church. Weekend services are held in the new church.

Weekday and smaller services are still held at the chapel, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Masses are celebrated at 9 a.m. daily.

Members say the chapel gives them a sense of history, peace and serenity, largely because of the stained-glass windows that grace the chapel walls and choir loft.

For the congregation, the possibility of losing the windows is disheartening.

"If we didn't have the windows in our church, I don't think the peacefulness and the holiness of the building would be there. They make the church," said Buzz Arndt, a member of the church since 1998. "Without those windows, the chapel would just be a building."

For more information or to make a donation, call 253-859-0444 or visit www.holyspiritkent.org.

Dana Blozis is a Kent freelance writer: dana@virtuallyyourz.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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