The First Church, Nashua, New Hampshire

Gathered in 1685 with Thomas Weld as minister, The First Church was first known as The Church of Christ in Dunstable. It is the fifth oldest church in New Hamphsire. First Church’s current Romanesque-style structure, built in 1894, is the congregtion’s 10th building, which is constructed of granite from nearby quarries in Marlboro, New Hampshire. An approachable statement on the church bulletin proclaims, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here”—affirming the church’s mission to welcome, unite and serve.

Transfiguration of Our Saviour Greek Orthodox Church, Lowell, Massachusetts

The Transfiguration of Our Saviour Greek Orthodox Church was founded in 1924 to serve the liturgical needs of the growing Greek immigrant population in Lowell, a thriving mill town. It’s current structure was completed in 1956 through the generosity of 200 families. Nevertheless, it would be another thirty-six years for the interior to be complete with its beautiful mosaic iconography that includes both male and female saints by New England artist Robert J. Andrews who began the project in 1963. The interior is considered one of Andrews’s masterworks.

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.

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. Peter’s by the Sea, Cape Neddick, Maine

Nestled on top of Christian Hill within a densely wooded area of Cape Neddick, which overlooks the Gulf of Maine, resides St. Peter’s by the Sea. Built on the location where open air church services had been held during the summers since 1850, this Episcopal chapel continues the tradition. Consecrated in 1898, the rustic stone and wood structure is built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, which draws upon 11th and 12th century southern French, Spanish and Italian Romanesque architecture. Its location is intentional, as the family who bequeathed the land and funded St. Peter’s construction wanted the Church’s cross to be visible to the fishermen at sea.