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Founded in 1895, the St. Anthony of Padua Church was established to serve the needs of the growing French Canadian Catholic population in New Bedford. Its current structure, a Romanesque style church designed by Canadian architect Joseph Venne, was dedicated in 1912 after a ten-year construction period. Much of the church’s elaborate interior was done under the direction of Italian sculptor John Castagnoli, who was a resident of New Bedford. In 1952, a significant renovation was completed on the church’s interior under the guidance of Italian architect and artist Guido Nincheri, replacing the original pulpit, adding stained glass windows and paintings of each of the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Four times a year, the 5,000 light bulbs set in the arches and ceiling illuminate the beautifully ornate interior.