September 1, 2015

St. Anthony of Padua Church

I tried to get permission to photograph this beautiful church last Saturday but there was no answer at the rectory when I rang the bell. But the open doors and soft welcoming organ music lured me in. One look at the gorgeous interior, I returned to my car to grab my gear. I figured if I couldn’t ask for permission I’d beg for forgiveness if I got caught. And what better place to beg forgiveness than a Catholic church?

I had been wanting to photograph St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in New Bedford, Massachusetts for a long time. You might say, for over 30 years.

I was first introduced to St. Anthony’s when I was assigned to photograph the students at the St. Anthony Elementary School in the early 1980s. (I was working as a School Picture Photographer — an otherwise forgettable chapter in my diverse career.) After the school day was done, one of the Sisters gave me a tour of the church. I was blown away by it’s beauty.

Over the years I returned to New Bedford sporadically. Sometimes to run the New Bedford Half Marathon (a great race!) and, more recently, to visit good friends who moved to the area. On each of those visits my buddy, Fran, accommodates my photography addiction by suggesting places to shoot. St Anthony’s has always been on the short list and last Saturday we stopped by to check it out.

It is truly one of the most beautiful churches in Massachusetts, probably New England, possibly the country.

Above is a wide view of the interior. Below are two vertical panorama comprised of four of five frames each, one of the interior and one of the exterior (obviously).


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