Super Senior: Monique Ziegler

Published: Jul. 6, 2023 at 6:27 PM EDT
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MILTON, Vt. (WCAX) - When Monique Ziegler first entered St. Ann Catholic Church in Milton, her faith was strong, but something else was lacking.

“Well, something was missing... It was a little cold to me,” Ziegler said. Soon, she says, it became clear. “All the churches I had been to, they all had stained glass.”

For years Ziegler has given her time to the church. “I do anything that needs to be done -- fill the candles, help serve the mass,” she said. So, with the permission of the parish priest, she decided to do something about it. “It was like a voice telling me, ‘You have to do something for the church.’”

Ziegler finds harmony in her Milton basement. The artist is on the tail end of a five-year journey to fill every window of the church with icons and inspiration. “I did this one and it just plain snowballed. Just one after another and I didn’t want to stop,” she said.

A native of Quebec, Ziegler grew up in a strong Catholic family. Her faith waned later in life and she stopped going to church. Searching, she learned about Tai Chi and Buddhism. But memories from her youth brought her back into the fold. “My faith, I have to say, really came back in my 60s, and I going to be 80 now,” she said. “I’m still questioning, I’m still questioning... Am I doing this for my own pleasure or am I doing this for the church... I think it’s probably both.”

“There’s nothing to stop her,” said Erich, Ziegler’s husband for 62 years. “I was surprised that she actually did all the windows.”

In all, Ziegler crafted 28 panels that cover every window of the church. She has worked hundreds and hundreds of hours on her creations. “But my time, my time -- it’s free. It’s given to God,” she said. “This is more for God than me. I want to stay humble... I honestly believe he brought me here -- is to do this... I look at these windows and I still can’t believe I made them.”

Ziegler’s last two stained glass windows will be installed within weeks, but it’s still not the end of her pilgrimage. “I feel like my life has been like a river and I just follow my river. Wherever the river takes me, I will go,” she said. “When the sun comes through, it’s just amazing.”

A Super Senior showing her faith for all to see.