St. Joseph the Worker Shrine, Lowell, Massachusetts

With roots dating back to 1868, St. Joseph the Worker Shrine, which opened in 1956, was originally established to serve the spiritual needs of Lowell’s French Canadian working class population. A focal point within the interior is the St. Joseph Stained Glass Window series, which celebrates in-part, Jesus’s legal father, the patron saint of workers. Stained glass panels also found within the sanctuary acknowledge the various trades and professions that have contributed to the development of Lowell. Originally built for the Unitarian Society in 1850, the church’s structure has gone through a series of transformations to accommodate up to 550 worshippers at a given time. Today, the church seeks to be a haven for all.

St. Anthony of Padua Church, New Bedford, Massachusetts

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.

Saint Mary–Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Charlestown, Massachusetts

In 2006, the Saint Catherine of Siena parish joined nearby Saint Mary’s Church to form what is now known as Saint Mary–Saint Catherine of Siena Parish. Together they reside in the building that has housed the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Boston since its dedication in 1888, formerly known as Saint Mary’s Church. The Gothic style building designed by Patrick Keely includes: a beautifully ornate hammerbeam oak ceiling; stained glass windows by German-based company Franz Mayer & Co., which depict scenes from the New Testament; and powerful relief sculptures, Stations of the Cross, representing Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion that were created by the ecclesiastical sculptor, Joseph Sibbel. Together with the lessons of Jesus Christ found within the form and voice of the Church, the mission of Saint Mary–Saint Catherine of Siena Parish strives to be in-part “an intentionally inclusive community welcoming all of the many people who make up our diverse neighborhood.”

Cathedral of Saint Paul, Worcester, Massachusetts

Founded in 1869, the Cathedral of Saint Paul has served as the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester since 1950, when the Diocese was established in the city. Its current grand structure, built in the Gothic Revival style, was designed by Elbridge Boyden & Son and completed in 1874. Important events within Saint Paul’s life are narrated within ten monumental stained glass windows located in the sanctuary and nave. The Cathedral of Saint Paul was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Saint John the Baptist Church, Brunswick, Maine

Founded in 1877, Saint John the Baptist Church was created to serve the French Canadian population in Brunswick and the surrounding area. Designed by Charles R. Greco of Boston, Massachusetts, the church’s current Gothic Revival style structure was completed in 1927. Of particular note are the murals by Giovanni Prampolini depicting Christian symbolism and iconography that reside on the walls and ceiling of the sanctuary. The stained glass windows designed by Zettler Studios of New York complement the paintings, illustrating symbols and stories from the New Testament. The parishioners of Saint John the Baptist Church take great pride in their church, as it “represents the commitment, faith, generosity, and hard work of generations of Catholic people from the greater Brunswick area.”

St. John’s Catholic Church, Worcester, Massachusetts

Established in 1834, St. John’s Catholic Church is the oldest Catholic church in Worcester. Its current structure, designed by architect P.W. Ford in the Greek Revival style, was built in 1845 to house its 2,000 parishioners. Inside, however, the sanctuary is designed in the Romanesque Revival style with its notable simplified arches. The Church’s spiritual mission is “to combine the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and daily acts of charity for all”. Since its earliest days, St. John’s has reached out to serve the poor. With providing such programs as free meals to more than 1,000 people monthly, it is evident that the parishioners’ charge has not waned from its beginnings.

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Providence, Rhode Island

With roots that date back to 1832, the parish of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the mother church of the Diocese of Providence, celebrated its first mass in 1838 in what was then a modest church on the same location. In 1847, the church was promoted to “cathedral” when Providence became an independent diocese. From the designs of Irish-born New York church architect Patrick Keeley, plans to build a monumental cathedral began in 1878 and the Cathedral was consecrated in 1889. Its Romanesque style exterior, built of Connecticut Brownstone, graces the Cathedral’s facade, while the interior is distinctly Gothic. The ornate sanctuary, lighted in-part by large illustrative stained-glass windows, has a high, pointed arch, wooden roof and marble walls and floors. The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul’s intentional grand scale and placement within the community reflects the significance the Roman Catholic faith has in Providence.

St. Mary’s Church, Newport, Rhode Island

Established in 1828, St. Mary’s Church is the oldest Catholic parish in Rhode Island. Designed by noted church architect Patrick Keely along with clergy, this brownstone Gothic Revival style structure was completed in 1852 to meet the spiritual needs of Newport’s growing Irish population. With the sanctuary’s 42 stained glass windows, ornamental woodwork and vaulted wooden hammered beam ceiling, one may certainly bask in the beauty and grandeur of the interior, which can elicit a desire to contemplate the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Our Lady Queen of Peace, Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Providing a haven for the Catholic community on the Boothbay Peninsula, Our Lady Queen of Peace has been home to year-round residents as well as seasonal visitors since its dedication in 1926. Its founding parish was a historic mix of immigrants, artists, servants, fishermen, merchants and builders. Stained glass windows honor many of the early families who nurtured Catholic presence in the region.

Inspired by the reliance upon the surrounding sea, its interior takes the shape of an inverted ship’s hull, a symbol of protection. Our Lady’s prominent location near the water provides not only a magnificent view of Boothbay Harbor, but also serves as a beacon for sailors, fisherman and the surrounding community.

St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral, Burlington, Vermont

Founded in 1850, St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral is the first French-Canadian national parish in the country, established to serve the spiritual needs of French-speaking Canadian Catholic immigrants. Growth of the congregation and emigration into what is now known as Burlington’s Old North End neighborhood fueled plans to build a new church. Designed in 1883 by Rev. Josep Michaud, a self-taught architect from Montreal, the new church was designed in a grand Baroque style that bears a resemblance to a chapel built under the reign of King Louis XIV located at the Palace of Versailles. The new structure took four years to complete, relying greatly upon the construction labor and financial sacrifices of its parishioners, many of whom were of modest means. Dedicated on Easter Sunday in 1887, St. Joseph’s remains the largest church in Vermont with the capacity to seat more than 1,200 worshipers.