View the Cathedral's Beautiful Stained Glass Windows
Cathedral -- The word cathedral is derived from the
Latin "cathedra" meaning chair. The Cathedral contains the permanent
chair or throne of the Bishop. The Cathedral is the mother church of the
diocese. The Diocese of Lincoln includes all of Nebraska south of the
Platte River. It is in the Cathedral that: high feasts are celebrated
with the Bishop presiding; Holy Oils are consecrated during Holy Week
for use in all the Catholic Churches in the Diocese thoughtout the
coming year; new priests are ordained; religious receive their final
vows; acolytes and lectors are installed; and new churches are
established. The Cathedral in one sense is a school, a place of teaching
as well as worship. Here the Bishop teaches, governs, sanctifies. From
here he sends forth priests to carry Christ to the people of the area.
The Resurrection of the first Easter is the theme of this Cathedral. All
things in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ tell of this truly
tremendous event; the windows, the art work, and the statuary all
announce: "He is Risen."
The Cathedral of the Risen Christ was constructed in 1964 - 1965 and
consecrated on August 16, 1965, by Archbishop James V. Casey. In the
floor of the baptistery is the coat of arms of the Archbishop. The coat
of arms is located at the foot of the ceremonial doors which are opened
on special occasions. Archbishop Casey designed the coat of arms.
Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms: Each bishop designs his own coat of arms.
On the right side is the coat-of arms of the Casey family redesigned to
make it peculiar to the Archbishop. One can see an escallop shell, the
symbol of St. James, Bishop Casey's first name. The two golden Latin
crosses are derived from the coat of arms of His Excellency, the Most
Reverend Leo Binz, DD, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa,
where Bishop Casey was born, baptized and where he labored as a priest
for 17 years. The motto "Nisi Dominus" is taken from Psalm 126, and is
translated "unless the Lord." Fully the text is: "Unless the Lord build
the house, they labor in vein that build. Unless the Lord keep the city,
he watches in vain that keepeth it." Archbishop Casey was Bishop of the
Diocese of Lincoln from 1957 until 1967 when he became Archbishop of the
Diocese of Denver in Colorado.
The Baptistery Window:
The brilliant Baptistery window tells the triumphant story of the
Resurrection in glass and color. The luminous center is the formless
body of the Risen Christ. The rays emanating from the body of Christ fan
out to the side window of blue and green glass - the blue of the sky and
the green of the earth to show that Christ has dominion over all the
earth. (Artist: Rambusch Studio of New York)
The Baptismal Font
It is through Baptism that all Christians enter into their lives with
Christ. And according to the guidelines laid down by Vatican II, the
Baptismal Font should be placed in the entrance of the church. The Font
lid is made of 8 bronze panels that encompass a reference to water.
||Saving waters of Baptism
|Jacob wrestling the angel
||Baptism gives us the strength to endure spiritual evil
|Moses leading the people through the Red Sea
||Baptism helps us to journey safely through life
|Moses striking the rock to bring forth water to save his people
||Baptism is saving water
|Christ being baptized by John. A prefiguration of the baptism
given to us by Christ
||Christ talking to the Samaritan Women at Jacob's Well. The
living water Christ will give
|Angel stirring water for crippled man in Jerusalem
||All are called to the living water of baptism
|Soldier opening the side of Christ with a spear and blood and
water flow out
||The water of baptism that comes from Christ bringing us every
rich and holy blessing
The Narthex Window
The Narthex or Crystal Screen stands nearly three stories high. This
large window tells the story of religion based on the Bible. The right
hand window tells of the fall of man. The large center window tells of
the redemption of man. The left window tells of the means of salvation.
Right Panel: The almond shaped design in the top left
panel represents the eye of God. The panel below shows Michael driving Adam
and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. In the bottom panel one can see the heads
of Adam and Eve, the hand holding the forbidden fruit, and just above the
back pew, the coiled serpent -- the symbol of the devil.
The center window is dominated by the glorious Risen
Christ. On His one hand are the two hands of God; on His other hand the dove
-- the symbol of the Holy Spirit. In the lower left hand corner is Christ in
His tomb, wrapped in His shroud. Above His feet is Thomas putting his
fingers into the wound in Christ's side. Directly to the right is the
The left panel depicts the means to salvation in the
Catholic Church. The seven sacraments, the Church and the bible. At the base
is Peter, to whom Our Lord entrusted the visible leadership of His Church.
Beside Peter is the Church. Above Peter is an open bible. The symbols of the
seven sacraments are found above Peter.
The Shell in the upper part of the panel represents the Sacrament of
Baptism. An Ear can be found representing the Sacrament of
Reconciliation. The Stole represents the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The
Olive Plant represents the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. In the
top panel are two rings representing the Sacrament of Matrimony. The
Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is depicted by the Chalice and Host. And
finally, the Sacrament of Confirmation is depicted by the Dove.
The Bishop's Chapel
The Bishop's Chapel is so named because it contains the likenesses of
six bishops of Lincoln in the stained-glass window.
In the window one can clearly see the likeness of six bishops of
Lincoln. From left is the Most reverend Thomas A. Bonacum, 1887 - 1911;
Most Reverend J. Henry Tihen, 1911 - 1917; Most Reverend Charles J.
O'Reilly, 1918 - 1923; Most Reverend Francis J. Beckman, 1924 - 1930;
Most Reverend Louis B. Kucera, 1930 - 1957; and Most Reverend James V.
Casey, 1957 - 1967. The coat-of-arms is above, the Bishop's motto is
In the wall brackets on each side of the Alter are gas flames. These
perpetual flames burn in memory of the four Bishops who are buried in
this chapel: Bishop Bonacum, Bishop O'Reilly, Bishop Kucera and Bishop
Flavin. Only those Bishops who die while still in office or in
retirement are buried in this Chapel. There are nine crypts available.
The East Wall
The Resurrected Christ:
After the Resurrection, the first person Jesus appeared to was Mary
Magdalene. She thought he was a gardener. The artist has placed a gardener's
hat on Jesus' head and a spade in his hand.
Photo Credits: Joel Sartore
Window Design: Max Ingrand, Paris France
Other imagery includes:
Peter and John at the empty tomb.
Jesus' first appearance with the disciples was at Emmaus. When He broke
bread with them, their eyes were opened.
Christ appeared to the disciples in the upper room. It was at this time
that Thomas had the opportunity to put his fingers in the wounds of
Christ's side, His hands and His feet, and finally believe that He had
Christ's third appearance to the apostles was on the Sea of Tiberius
where the apostles had been fishing all night without a catch. At dawn a
stranger appeared on the shore line and told the apostles to lower their
nets on the other side of the boat. They dbrought in a large haul of
fish without breaking their nets, and realized the stranger is the Risen
Christ gives the keys of the Church to Peter, telling him to "feed my
lambs and feed my sheep."
The Ascension of the Lord into Heaven. The hands above are of the Father
The West Wall
As you can see in the compilation photo, the Cathedral windows are free
form. During the Cathedral's construction cutouts were made of each of
the windows. Two sets of cutouts were made. One was reserved in Lincoln
and the other was shipped to Europe for the artist to use in creation of
the stained glass windows. Unfortunately, humidity conditions expanded
the plywood cutouts shipped to Europe, resulting in windows slightly too
large for openings when received in Lincoln in 1965. Area artists were
summoned by Bishop Casey, and alterations were made to preserve the
integrity and original design. In the late 1980's additional outside
"storm windows" were installed to protect and preserve the windows from
Nebraska's weather extremes.
Photo Credits: Joel Sartore
Window Design: Max Ingrand, Paris France
Other imagery includes:
Christ raising Lazarus from the dead.
Christ looking at Lazarus and Jonas. He is telling the two men about the
resurrection of Jonas from the whale. It is a foretelling of Christ's
The depiction of the spear piercing the side of Christ. Next, one sees
Joseph of Aramathea, Nicodemus and Mary, the mother of our savior, who
have taken Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in his shroud and are
taking him to the tomb.
Two soldiers who are placed by the authorities at the entrance of the
tomb to be sure the friends of the crucified man did not come and take
him away, for they had heard his prophecy that he would leave the tomb.
Three empty crosses, and below, three women.
Six women, among whom are Mary the mother of James, Mary of Magdala,
Salome and Joanna, who have gone to the sepulcher with their boxes of
spices and jars of oil to anoint the body of Jesus, as was the Jewish
custom. They arrive a the sepulcher, to find the rock had been rolled
They look inside the tomb and see a man in shining white sitting on the
edge of the tomb. The angel says to them: "Do not be afraid, for I know
that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen
as he said."