The following comes from a March 24 Valley Catholic article:
Stained glass windows have a rich history within our religious tradition and a significant place in sacred architecture. As developments in construction and architecture allowed towering expanses and vast windows, artists were commissioned to design and fabricate windows that told the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Others depicted apostles, martyrs, and saints. Windows were an important tool of catechesis and religious formation for large populations that were not able to read and write or had no access to expensive manuscripts and books.
The windows of St. Joseph’s Cathedral Basilica reflect this reality. They depict scenes from the life of Jesus and images of familiar saints. The windows also convey the history of Santa Clara Valley and families who were significant in the life of the Catholic Community.
When St. Joseph’s was named the Cathedral for the Diocese of San Jose the building was restored and modified for contemporary liturgy. Three additional windows were installed. These modern windows are on the east wall of the building behind the altar. Needed repairs were made on the historic windows during the renovation but sufficient funds were not available for their restoration. The windows are in great need of restoration. The cost of this restoration project is $480,000.
The restoration involves removing the windows, disassembling the window’s many pieces, cleaning, repairing any broken glass, and reassembling the window with new lead molding. The process is not only quite involved, it requires talented artists and craftsmen.
Restoration has begun on some of the windows. The windows in the bell towers, as well as the rose windows in the choir loft, have been fully restored. The work has been made possible by a generous grant from the Catholic Foundation of Santa Clara County and an anonymous donor.