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A Mural with Meaning

Connecting with people has been the mission of the Capuchin friars of the Seraphic Mass Association for centuries. The original mission office has operated in the heart of Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh, Pa., since the 1800s, where the friars have worked to help people locally and around the world. When a move to the new Lawrenceville location was planned, it was important to the Seraphic Mass Association that the friars’ story and their mission be shared with and recognized by the community. What better way to shine a light on their mission than through a window?

For the team at Pipitone Group, our mission was to develop a window design that would serve two purposes. The first was to educate and engage the community on the Seraphic Mass Association’s mission and history. The second was to serve as a practical yet gentle boundary between the interior staff work space and the bustling street outside. To achieve both goals, Pipitone created a historical tapestry, inspired by the story of the Capuchin friars and the Seraphic Mass Association, brought to life through strong and dramatic images, intense color and meaningful quotes.

The Pages of Time

Pipitone was tasked with telling the story of the Capuchin friars from 1528 to present day in only three banks of windows—each bank measuring 16 feet wide by almost 5 feet high. To communicate their friars' extensive history—globally as well as locally—Pipitone used the first of the window banks to create a multi-dimensional collage. Inspired by the colors of the Capuchin robes, the mural features sepia-toned illustrations and black-and-white historical photographs of Lawrenceville and the first friars, interspersed with biblical verses and colorful modern photographs of the friars at work in the missions today.

Message from On High

The Seraphic Mass Association’s message, “Even to the ends of the Earth,” was brought to life in a vibrant display of their missions serving many cultures, from China to Puerto Rico to Papua New Guinea. As a continuation of their story, this mural took its cue from the stunning stained glass windows of cathedrals and represented the solidarity the friars instilled among many different cultures.

Mission Accomplished

Concluding the three-part series, the third bank of windows depicted the impact of the friars’ missions around the world, caring for the sick and working to bring faith to all. Similar to Saint Francis of Assisi, the Seraphic Mass Association’s patron saint, the murals were humble yet incredibly impactful. Providing a divine combination of beauty and practicality, the window art successfully communicated the legacy of the Capuchin friars and connected them with the surrounding community.

Pipitone Group 3933 Perrysville Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15214-1735


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