By Amanda Petrucelli
The Center at Donaldson is known for having unexpected features tucked into corners – a labyrinth, a tiny chapel – but now a new special space has opened on the Ancilla College campus.
“It feeds the soul of the person. It feeds the spirit,” said Sr. Judith Diltz, PHJC provincial.
The meditation room in the college’s first residence hall on County Road 9B has been transformed into the kind of place you can feel when you walk into it, thanks to artisanal windows crafted in memory of the Poor Handmaid’s parents.
Diltz and her biological sisters, Patti Paschke of Granger, Ind., and Linda Baker, of Osceola, Ind., commissioned Don Burling and his wife, owners of Don’s Custom Stained Glass of Granger, to create the four-panel windows in August 2015, she said. They have just been installed the week of Dec. 13, 2015.
The ethereal windows are crafted in memory of the sisters’ parents, Raymond and Monabelle Diltz. Raymond passed away in 2004 and Monabelle in 2013.
“The family just feels really connected to this place,” she said. “We wanted something permanent in their memory.”
Sr. Judith attended high school at The Center at Donaldson, she said, and her mother spent her last six years at the Catherine Kasper Life Center, located on the 1,100-acre property.
Diltz said the sisters created their own design, and, after talking with the artist, gave him freedom to make the windows more abstract.
“We feel the image is inspirational without being overly religious,” she said. The mainly blue windows evoke water, which is a motif of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, the order to which Diltz belongs, but it also represents the outdoors and the environment, of which her father was a huge fan. Central to the design is a small, plus-shaped cross from which the “water” radiates.
“We want people to find in it what they see in it,” she said.
Residents in the hall will be able to use the space for quiet reflection starting spring semester 2016. Since the college is building a second residence hall, a similar opportunity exists for the next meditation room. Contact Vice President of Development Todd Zeltwanger or Development and Alumni Relations Manager Emily Hutsell for more information on gifting a named space at Ancilla College.