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
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.