Windows For The Soul
West Angeles Cathedral Project

Butterfly Dreams Take Flight

HOLY TRINITY Roman Catholic Church, Des Moines, Iowa is a simple cinder block structure that was built the 1960's. It has long straight walls and steel framed windows that run horizontally along the upper section of the walls. I met with Father Laurenzo in September 1992 as they were in the planning stages to renovate their worship space. The existing windows were glazed with an unimaginative arrangement of odd colored sheets of stained glass. Father Laurenzo had the vision to incorporate the symbol for Pope John Paul II's trip to Iowa in 1979. This symbol consisted of a butterfly design that used a cross image for the body that expanded out to divide its beautiful wings into the colors of the four seasons. The Father and I worked up a series of thumbnail sketches for the design. I took these back to the studio to be executed into a rendering by one of our artists. Within days, Father Laurenzo approved one of the designs and the project was started. We divided and expanded this symbol for the resurrection of Jesus Christ to fit the length of the two 61' x 5-1/2' (18.6 m x 1.7 m) nave windows. The structure of the cross was kept in the center of each window with two of the four seasons displayed in each stained glass window. This installation transformed an awkward aspect of Holy Trinity's worship space into a radiant jewel adding significant meaning for worship.

Center panel detail from the Spring-Summer design

Two photos of the installation: the upper photo shows the full length of the Spring-Summer panel and the lower photo is the Autumn-Winter design.

Above:Thumbnail sketches created by Ron Bovard showing variations on the butterfly theme.

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