Historic first: new cathedral's stained glass windows will provide solar power

Let there be light!  It will be the first church in North America to use this particular kind of solar energy.


A different kind of trinity is emerging at Saskatoon’s newest cathedral, where the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is combining art, technology and faith in a stunning and environmentally-friendly project.

The Holy Family Catholic Church, a $28.5-million cathedral under construction in Saskatoon’s northeast, has solar cells embedded in the large stained glass windows that will be installed this spring.

The cathedral could be the first church in North America to use photovoltaic cells in a stained glass installation, said cathedral building committee chair Jim Nakoneshny. The University of British Columbia used the combination in a library.

“It’s an art installation, but being able to incorporate energy-collecting methods is a way to show sustainability can be done without it being an ugly feature on the building,” he said.

You can read more at the link — and see how it works in the video below.  There’s also information at the cathedral website.

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  • RL

    I viewed the video and found it to be missing one word in the presentation. I then went to the Cathedral website and viewed the two videos titled “The Need” and “The Inspiration.” Again that same one word was missing. I then read the literature on the sight and finally found the word mentioned only once – at the end of a section called “Sod Turning.”

    The missing word?? Jesus

    Nowhere in this presentation is the power of His name invoked. Not once. Nowhere does anyone talk about this being His church and being done for His glory. Not one parishioner, not one priest, and finally not even the bishop.

    I hate to sound petty over this, but this strikes me as a “canary in the mineshaft” issue.

    Without invoking the power of His name, without articulating who this is being done for….
    How then is this to be distinguished from a United Way fundraiser?

    The community needs may be addressed and the community may be strengthened – but that is not why we build churches.

  • romancrusader

    Another ugly as sin Cathedral.