It was our founding pastor’s idea to achieve in the stained glass windows an interesting design and theme that would be a further reflection of the progressive architectural plan of the new church. The general design of the windows repeat the deep amber wood tones and the strong curving lines that are prominent in the interior of the building.
The theme of the windows involves in a most general way the Catholic Church in the United States. Eight of the sixteen windows are concerned with the historical spread of Catholicism throughout the parts of the new country. Four of the sixteen windows relate to the Marian aspects of the Catholic Church in America, and the remaining four relate to contemporary aspects of the American Catholic Church.
The theme selected for the windows was so profound that an all-inclusive treatment was not intended and could not have been achieved. The purpose as stated was to achieve an interesting and diverse sampling of persons and events which were essential in the formation of the Church in this country.
The Baptistry window contains appropriate symbolism representing the Holy Spirit and relates to the truth that a rebirth through baptism is an essential pre-requisite to a proper Catholic life. The prominent location of the window and Baptistry, adjacent to the main entrance, offers continuous testimony to the importance of this event.
TWO JOHN’S WINDOW - Pope John XXIII and John Kennedy each achieved the ultimate posts of leadership: one as a Spiritual leader and one as a Political leader. The window depicts them sowing seeds of unity and peace. In its prominent location in the Church it should be a constant reminder of the high goals obtainable through constant service to the Church and our fellow man.
CHAPLAINCY WINDOW - This window reminds us that during times of national strife the faithful practice of religion is essential. The window contains swords of conflict, a Chaplains Cross, and the Great Seal of the United States.
POPE PAUL - An event of great historical importance coinciding with the building of this Church. The first visit of any Pope to the United Sates which occurred on the feast Day of St. Francis in 1965. The Papal shield is shown in the window along with the skyline of New York and a skull representing St. Francis.
SERVICE WINDOW - This window represents the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our society, and depicts the institutions, religious communities, and organizations available for carrying out the work of the Church. The window contains a heart for love, a young child, a nun’s habit, and institutional buildings as its symbols.
KATERI TEKAKWITHA - A virtuous Indian girl of the Mohawk tribe who was baptized and practiced her religion faithfully although she was exposed to the barbarianism of the tribal customs. Symbols in the window represent Indian feathers, an Indian tomahawk and a lily signifying her purity.
FATHER GALLITZEN - A Russian prince who after a visit to Baltimore vowed to devote his life in the service of the Church here. He was one of the first graduates at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, and founded the settlement of Loretto, Pennsylvania becoming the Pioneer Priest of the Alleghenies. Rosary beads are a symbol of his devotion, and the outline of Pennsylvania represents his area of service.
BISHOP HEALY - First Negro Bishop in the United States - Diocese of Portland Maine and extending through New Hampshire. The window contains Bishop’s Mitre and Crozier.
MOTHER CABRINI - First American Saint. The Window shows hands of Mother Cabrini holding a crucifix. Although not American born, Frances Xavier Cabrini, spent all her adult life ministering to the sick and needy in the growing cities.
ST. AUGUSTINE - Represents the first permanent Catholic settlement in the continental United States. This window contains an outline map of Florida, with a cross superimposed on it.
JUNIPERO SERRA -A Franciscan Priest of the Southwest who is credited with establishing the Indian Missions of early California, and the conversions of all of the natives from San Diego to San Francisco. This window shows Serra surrounded by Indians and adobe type mission buildings.
MARQUETTE & JOLIET - Jacques Marquette was a Jesuit Missionary and discoverer of the Mississippi River. He and Joliet explored the Mississippi valley and a great portion of what is now the North Central United States. The window depicts Marquette and Joliet traveling by canoe to visit one of the many Indian tribes to which they were well known.
CARROLLTON, MARYLAND - Home of Charles Carroll, brother of Bishop John Carroll and first Catholic to overcome Catholic disfranchisement and occupy important positions in government. Charles Carroll of Carrollton was instrumental in achieving colonial independence and became a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. This window contains a crucifix, and a Period American flag and represents Carroll’s Catholic influence on the new government.
BISHOP JOHN CARROLL - In 1792 he chose Mary as Patroness of then the only Diocese in the United States which was Baltimore. It was this event which led eventually to the petition from Baltimore to the Holy See in 1846 requesting that the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception be made Heavenly Patroness of all the United States. This window contains the Mitre and Crozier representing Bishop Carroll and the monogram of Our Blessed Mother superimposed on an outline of the United States.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE - is especially significant in this group since Our Lady made her only recorded appearance in North American in this form. The window depicts Juan Diego, a young Mexican boy as the apparition appears to him, and the miraculous roses, which were evidence of his vision.
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - This of course is the form the Patroness of the Americas takes.
NATIONAL SHRINE - is the present day culmination of our devotion to Mary in the United States. The window depicts the Shrine located in Washington, D.C.
THE GLASS MOSAIC
The glass mosaic represents Christ, “The Way, the Truth and the Life.” Dominating and influencing the sphere of the world, we see the representation of Christ in the world through the functions of the Church which are: to teach, to rule and to sanctify. This is shown in the figure of Christ as the teacher and the light of the world; the Basilica of St. Peter’s in Rome, the Mother Church of Christendom, and from the Church we receive the graces necessary for our sanctification; and the figure of Pope John 23rd, representing the Papacy, who as the Vicar of Christ on earth rests the authority to rule and direct.
THE INTERIOR DESIGN
“The Church in the round” was sketched and appointed in such a manner that it would satisfy completely all of the changes created by the new liturgy, and at the same time portray visibly the necessities that are essential to every practicing Christian. Such is the comprehensive view that greets any visitor as he enters the nave of the church.
Paralleling the progressions of life, the main sanctuary emphasizes the needs and developments of our spiritual life: the redemption of life (the altar of sacrifice); the ambo (where is seen the Bible and from which is preached the Word of Christ); and (the table of repose) upon which rests the tabernacle containing the Body and Blood of Christ.
As Holy Scripture says:
"Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."