DRACUT — In June, tours of the stained-glass windows that once graced the former historic St. Peter's Church in Lowell drew people to St. Francis Church in Dracut from as far away as Epping, N.H., as well as many from the Greater Lowell area.
Some were former parishioners of St. Peter's, while others were admirers of religious stained glass meticulously crafted in the late 1800s in New York City by the J. Morgan Company, the same company that produced the windows for St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.
The turnout was so high at St. Francis that not everyone was able to take the window tour, so organizers promised a second tour. That tour will take place on Thursday, July 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., when the Women's Connection of St. Francis will again sponsor tours of the historic windows and of the church itself from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
All are invited to learn about the St. Peter's windows that were acquired and restored by St. Francis in 1996, the year the Dracut church was built and St. Peter's was razed. The windows depict scripture as well as several saints and Marian apparitions.
Patricia Cahill of Dracut, a current St. Francis parishioner and former St. Peter's parishioner, said the windows "sometimes feel like a set of arms that embrace me with comfort and blessings, especially in difficult moments."
Cahill observed that the restoration "has made the windows pop with color, making them more beautiful, helping you see more the meaning behind each one."
Many of those leaving after the June tours were surprised by how much they learned.
"I'm in there every day, and there was still much I didn't know," said parishioner Fleurette Boutin of Dracut. "I was proud to see people from all over come to have this great experience, and it was so well done."
Rain during the June event prevented the planned activities for the outdoor plaza.
"We are praying this time to have some good weather so everyone can enjoy wine and cheese on the plaza before or after their tours, taking in the lovely view and a beautiful sunset from the hill," said Joyce Kulig of the Women's Connection Committee.
Live music will take place on the plaza, a cash wine and beer bar, along with free lemonade and other refreshments. Tickets will not be sold, though free-will donations will be directed toward a new roof for the 23-year-old church.
St. Francis is at 115 Wheeler Road. For more information, email email@example.com, call 978-452-6611 or visit the Facebook page at Saint Francis Church Dracut.