The Little Chapel in the Woods at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas
Serenity, Peace, Joy, Grace. These words represent the very essence of The Little Chapel in the Woods located at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. When I was in graduate school at TWU…the chapel became my refuge from the stress of teaching full-time; one child away in Austin having fun and yet trying to finish college; another child involved in everything possible in high school…who was almost in college; a thoughtful and helpful husband who was also very busy at his accounting job; plus…I had a thesis to finish writing before the end of the semester. Sometimes I needed a quiet place, something similar to a hideout…to keep focused.
My special thank you to The Little Chapel in the Woods for helping to turn an almost overwhelming time into a time of perseverance, appreciation and happiness. I knew that the chapel was on the campus and I had admired it from afar. I knew that the chapel had an interesting history. I knew that the chapel had very distinctive stained glass windows. What I did not know was how important these windows would become to me.
One memorable day, I happened to find a parking place near the chapel. I had a few minutes to spare, so I decided to walk up the stone pathway to the chapel. I wanted to see what it was about the chapel that caused students to use words like unforgettable to describe it. I walked into the chapel as sunlight streamed through the windows. I understood why the chapel was used often for students who need to meditate…or perhaps used for worship in a non-denominational atmosphere…or used as a beautiful locale for the celebration of marriage. I returned many times.
I soon realized that the stained glass windows were clearly and uniquely designed with a theme in mind. In reading about the chapel, I discovered that the theme is “Women Ministering to the Human Needs”. Various professions that students planned to enter were represented by the windows. Indeed, it has been said that “each window pays respect to women in that particular profession” that they have chosen. Amazing, just amazing!
These Stained Glass Windows Represent…
1. Motherhood. Located directly over the alter, this window is the largest and the one that you immediately see upon entrance. The window symbolizes woman as Mother. The Biblical conception of motherhood from Proverbs is depicted in the illustrations. These illustrations represent the ideals for motherhood from Proverbs…strength, desire, leadership, kindness, loyalty and love.
2. Nursing. This window honors the women who worked tirelessly to pave the way for the modern day nursing profession. The ideal nursed is illustrated in the center.
3. Teaching. This window honors “the women who use their knowledge as a tool to educate the minds of others”. Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan are illustrated in the window.
4. Music. This window honors women who achieve through music. The words “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” are inscribed in the lower part of the window.
5. Dance. This window honors women who express themselves through beautiful movement.
6. Science. This window honors women who have chosen to study physics, chemistry and the biological sciences.
7. Social Sciences. This honors women who find ways to look for and relieve distress and suffering.
8. Literature. This window honors women who have chosen to be writers.
9. Speech. This window honors women in the arts.
10. Rose Window. Located above the entrance to the chapel, this window honors woman’s joy in the world around her.
11. Signature. Located in the vestibule, this small window honors and pictures the builders, donors and decorators of the chapel.
These Windows Exude Such Deep Meaning!
My most loved stained glass window at The Chapel in the Woods includes the following quote from Marie Curie…