Letter to the editor: Heinz Chapel’s ‘Charity’ window bore witness to Fu’s life

Heinz Chapel serves numerous purposes for the University community.

Over the weekend, it was the site of a memorial service for Dr. Freddie Fu. In his remarks, former Chancellor Mark Nordenberg summed up the meaning of the Chapel over the decades since its 1938 dedication by quoting the words of Howard Heinz: “If those who come under the influence of this place go out to face life with new courage and restored faith, because of the peace and calm and loveliness they found here, then this commemorative sanctuary will not have been built in vain.”

Referencing “commemorative” in the quote, the building’s purpose was to commemorate the religious values of both the speaker’s grandmother, Anna Margaretta Heinz, and his father, Henry J. Heinz. Reinforcing those values and Howard Heinz’s words was the central window high above the chancel.

As Chancellor Nordenberg spoke of Dr. Fu’s abiding concern and care for others, the theme of the stained glass imagery bore silent witness to the celebrated surgeon’s life and work. Known as the “Charity” window, it references the 13th verse of the 13th chapter of the First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” Also translated as love (from the original Greek agape), all the speakers, in one form or another, connected Dr. Fu’s life to this core principle of his life and work.

Frank J. Kurtik

Docent and event coordinator, Heinz Memorial Chapel