Stained Glass

Dove with Olive Branch, Hans Gottfried von Stockhausen

From 1907 to 1916, the Cathedral had no stained glass – all the windows were clear glass.  But when these windows were destroyed in the collapse of the dome, the Cathedral’s pastor at the time, Father William Noonan, commissioned the Boston firm of Charles Connick to create stained glass for the Cathedral.  The windows were blessed in 1918.

The windows on the lower level at the west end of the Cathedral represent saints:  the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, St. James, and St. Patrick.

On the clerestory level of the Cathedral are ten windows representing the ten commandments.  The clerestory windows on the east end, formerly the sanctuary of the Cathedral, feature symbols of heavenly worship.


In the North Transept are three Christmas windows, with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the center, the wise men on the left, and the shepherds on the right.  In the South Transept, a parallel set of windows depicts the Resurrection of Christ, with the risen Lord in the center window, while the holy women hasten to the tomb (left) and the apostles follow (right).

Christ carries his Cross, Hans Gottfried von Stockhausen

The East Apse windows incorporate Connick glass, with new roundels by noted German stained-glass artist Hans Gottfried von Stockhausen.  These extraordinary windows depict the passion of Christ, beginning with the betrayal by Judas in the lower part of the right-hand window, concluding with the resurrection scene of the supper at Emmaus in the upper right.  Each scene in the passion of Christ is juxtaposed with words from the Last Judgment account in Matthew 25:  “I was hungry and you gave me food… I was hungry and you did not give me food.”  The windows challenge the viewer to find Christ in the poor and the afflicted all around us:  those who are hungry, thirsty, homeless, imprisoned, sick, and abandoned.

The center window depicts baptism.  At the bottom, we see Noah, reaching out to receive the dove into the ark.  Above, Moses leads the chosen people through the Red Sea, and at the top, Jesus is baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist.  The window reminds us that it is in baptism that we receive the call to serve Christ in others.