Frances Biggs and the Windows of Gonzaga College, Dublin


Gonzaga College SJ, named after St Aloysius Gonzaga, one of St Ignatius’s initial companions, was founded in 1950 in the leafy suburb of Ranelagh, Dublin 6. For the first fifteen years it did not have a chapel, as other things took priority, and religious services took place in the concert hall, which required moving furniture in and out on every occasion. When Fr John Hughes SJ took over as rector in 1959, the first priority of his office was to provide a chapel. In May of 1962 a working committee was established and parents were persuaded to part with £100 each, spread over ten years. In the account of William Lee SJ, ‘[t]he quality of that cut-granite, copper-roofed building dictated to a large extent the quality of the new school Chapel. The fact that Mr Andrew Devane was architect for both buildings ensured that the standard was maintained … The sculptor Mr Michael Biggs was commissioned to do the altar, the ambo, and the tabernacle pillar … The stained glass window at the apex of the triangular building was the work of Mrs Frances Biggs.’



Declan O’Keeffe