Le Mars, IA
Honoring our Past; Building Our Future was the Parish’s central theme as they undertook the replacement of their existing worship space, social hall and parish offices on the site of the former Gehlen Catholic School.
The progression of faith begins as parishioners enter the site and are greeted by the statue of the church’s patron, St. Joseph, and welcomed to worship by the steeple, designed as a replica of one from the old church, bells dating back to 1877 as well as clock welcoming people to worship and prayer.
BCDM successfully blended contemporary technologies with traditional styles of the past – integrating as many elements from the old church as possible, including the high altar (Reredos) as the central focal point o the 600-seat (expandable to 800) worship space. A 6,700 s.f. social hall and 2,700 s.f. office are visually connected to the worship area by the four supporting legs of the steeple.
The placement of the baptismal font on axis with the altar is a reminder of the connection between baptism and Eucharist as sacraments of initiation.
The overall sense of spirituality within the worship space is achieved through incorporation of artistic stained glass from the existing church in the upper windows together with the spiritual story of St. Joseph depicted in the lower windows-refurbished from St. Michael Church in Munich, Germany.