I was happy to read the Great Bend Tribune report: “Light of God -- Olmitz church windows see rebirth” (June 29 issue). Having my mother’s Riedl, Hampel, Kober, Lux, and Reimer ancestors originating from Olmitz, as well as her Bahr, Schneider, Ohnmacht, and Bartonek cousins coming from Olmitz, I have many ties to St. Ann’s Catholic Church. I have always marveled at its priceless stained-glass windows which are indeed a “Light of God” when the sunlight is at just the right angles. The saintly images are awe-inspiring. I was pleased to see in the Tribune article that 4-foot by 14 foot windows were shipped from the Munich Studio in Germany. It was also fascinating to read where identical windows are displayed in churches at Hoisington, Victoria, and Pilsen, the home of the late military priest, Fr. Emil Kapaun, who is being considered for sainthood. Some of my mother’s Riedl relatives migrated to Vienna and to Munich, and we were always told that “special artisans” made those stained glass windows at Olmitz using centuries-old techniques that are largely ‘lost’ to the world, today. I am so pleased that the Hoefer Custom Stained Glass firm of South Hutchinson is engaged to do such equally delicate restoration work to the windows. My thanks to Bob and Pam Schneider for their dedication in spearheading the project and thanks to St. Ann’s Pastor Anselm Eke as well as his predecessor the Rev. Ultan Murphy for facilitating this long-term project and making it happen. Future generations will be thankful.
James A. Marples