St. Thomas the Apostle Architecture and Environment
The design of St. Thomas the Apostle Church was created to be both functional and inspirational.
The exterior lines of the church lead us to raise our minds and our hearts to God on High. The interior of the church is designed in a semi-circle fashion to emphasize and create the feeling of community.
The altar has been brought forth and raised as a focal point, but also so that the assembly can easily see one another and experience, through sight and sound, the Body of Christ.
The cross over the altar, carved in Northern Italy by Iwo Demetz, depicts a welcoming Christ sitting on a rainbow, a symbol of peace with His arms extended, inviting us to be embraced by His love and spirit in our tears and in our laughter. The Lord calls us to gather in His name to love and to support one another. Jesus calls us to be healed and made whole, to be forgiven and restored.
The panels extending from the cross depict the creation account and the new Pentecost, represented by tongues of fire. The back side of the cross depicts the Alpha and Omega symbols, Jesus being the beginning and end of all. Also, there is an ancient medieval symbol of two fish connected by a line. The fish were the sacred symbols of the early Christian Church and the line represents that we as a community are always connected.
The Rose Window symbolizes the Eastern Star - the Morning Star - the Light of Jesus. At night it is brightly lit, representing Jesus as the jewel that penetrates the darkness of our lives. Jesus is the Paschal Lamb that casts our all darkness.
The statue of the Blessed Mother was also carved by Demetz. It depicts Mary reaching out to us in love as our mother and the Mother of the Church. We give great honor to Mary and we ask her for intercession upon all of us.
Behind the statue of Mary is a beautiful Baptism Window representing the three types of Baptism: Baptism of Martyrdom (red), Baptism of Desire (green) and Baptism of Water (blue). Baptism represents new life, depicted by the flowers. Also behind the statue of the Blessed Mother is the Ambry, which holds the sacramental oils: Oil of the Catechumenate, Oil of the Sick and Chrism whcih are used for various sacrements throughout the year.
The stained glass windows in our church are a living mission statement of what we believe and where we are called: the Prodigal Son... we are called to forgiveness; the Emmaus Account...we are called to Eucharist and to be eucharistic people; healing...we are called to heal and be healed; the Good Shepherd...we are called to shepherd one another; the Little Children...we are called to be children of God; the Good Samaritan...we are called to minister to those in need; Mary and Martha...we are called to work and to prayer; the Three Mysteries of Faith...Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again, depicts our call to serve others, to lift up and celebrate God's presence in our midst and the challenge to have unity in the midst of diversity.
In the lower portion of the stained glass windows is a picture depicting a symbol of Naperville, an application of the biblical story to our everyday lives. The etched glass windows separating the church from the chapel depict our Guardian Angel with hands extended over our church and the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
The large chapel window depicts Jesus sitting contemplating his Father's creation; the land, sea, earth and the creatures of this world. It says that all things God created are good and beautiful and we are called to enjoy them in God's kingdom here on earth.
The flowing water of the baptismal font reminds us that we are constantly renewed and refreshed by our commitment to Jesus. It also reminds us of our baptismal commitment.
Our church is a church of worship and praise of God, the Creator, Son and Holy Spirit; a church of healing and nourishment, where we are nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ and also by the love and the presence of one another gathering in Christ's name.
St. Thomas Parish Family is a celebrating community, and a community that rejoices in your presence among us. On behalf of our entire faith community, we welcome you to journey with us!