Guidebook Explores Stained Glass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Author: Kathryn Pitts

Stories In Light

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame contains one of the largest collections of late nineteenth-century French stained glass outside of France. The French Gothic–inspired church has forty-four large stained glass windows containing two hundred and twenty scenes. Today, more than 100,000 visitors tour the basilica each year to admire its architecture.

Stories in Light: A Guide to the Stained Glass of the Basilica at the University of Notre Dame tells the unique story of the windows: the improbable creation of a glassworks by cloistered Carmelite nuns in LeMans, France, and their stained glass that so perfectly illuminated the late-nineteenth-century French Catholic spirituality of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Stories in LIght describes the windows according to their location in the building, from the narthex at the entrance to the Lady Chapel behind the altar. Full-color photographs, accompanied by commentary on the historical and theological importance of the glass and the iconography of the saints, provide a detailed view of the scenes found in each window. Stories in Light is an easy-to-read book written for all who visit the basilica and for readers everywhere who want to know more about the rich history and heritage of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart’s stained glass.

View the book video.


Nancy Cavadini (Marquette University, M.A. in Theology) has served in religious formation for the Congregation of Holy Cross and as an ecumenical and interfaith officer.

Cecilia Davis Cunningham (Florida State University, M.A. in Art History) became a tour guide at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in 1999. Her years of teaching have allowed her to introduce numerous visitors to the art and history of the basilica.

BOOK EVENTS—Please check our Events page to confirm event schedules.

Book Signing, April 20, 2020, the Sacred Heart Parish Center, Notre Dame, IN

Notre Dame Press Book Festival, November 10. 2020, Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN


Stories in Light
A Guide to the Stained Glass of the Basilica at the University of Notre Dame
Nancy Cavadini and Cecilia Davis Cunningham

March 30, 2020 publication

ISBN 978-0-268-10742-0 • 232 pages • $24 paperback

Stories in Light is available wherever books are sold, our website, and amazon. We encourage you to support your local bookstores where you can purchase this book and many others online. For more information, or a review copy, contact Kathryn Pitts at or © 574.210.6155.


Originally published by Kathryn Pitts at on March 18, 2020. Republished at on August 17, 2020.