Sma' Talk Wi' T

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New Year of Joining Parishes Means New Beginnings, Huge Renovations

with 7 comments

Visting family in Taunton for the holidays means going to mass as a family on holy day of obligations. Depending on the location, attending mass on vacation takes determination, thought and sometimes a hassle. In out of the way destinations, it can take lots of effort to find a Catholic Church. In Massachusetts, it was a common sight to see Catholic churches on every other city corner. These days Catholic churches, with the massive consolidation of parishes under heavy financial strains, are not as evident.

Taunton Catholic parishoners have undergone heavy decisions this last year. Decisions that have produced a lot of varying emotions, thought, prayer, and recommitment to their Catholic faith. Due to fiscal necessity and reduced parish sizes, the two Taunton parishes, St. Joseph’s and St. Paul’s Catholic Churches agreed to combine into one parish, one church. The Catholic Church that evolved from the two congregations became St. Andrew the Apostle Parish. (The patron saint of Scotland.)

We were very fortunate to attend New Year’s Day mass at this beautiful English gothic-styled brick Catholic church. It was obviously undergoing major renovations to accomodate the future growth of this newborn parish. The interior of this one hundred and twelve year old church, decorated for the Christmas celebrations was breathtaking. The architectural details of huge entry doors, dark wood paneling, stained glass windows, and sacred grotesques adorning the columns and walls, took me back to my childhood and travels to English and Scottish medieval churches. The quiet spirituality and solace inside the church belied its currently scaffolded exterior. St. Andrew the Apostle’s sanctum is cerebrally conducive to prayer. You know that you’re in God’s house in this parish. Every corner of this tiny parish is filled with reminders of saintly adoration and prayer.

St. Andrew The Apostle Roman Catholic Church, Taunton, MA

St. Andrew the Apostle Church (established in 1896 and dedicated in 1910) is what memories are made of for older Catholics, especially those that can’t bring themselves to attend because of post-Vatican II changes. You know deep down they miss going to church and receiving sacraments. These churches are what Catholics should be insistant on protecting and salvaging for future generations.

I could tell that Reverend Timothy Reis and Father Alan Thadeu understood their challenges for the future. Their words embodied support of the congregation and confidence in their efforts. Attending the mass was uplifting and a great way to invigorate our faith and start off our family’s new year.

St. Andrew the Apostle closed on January 4th, 2009 for the serious renovations that would hamper attending mass, so the former St. Paul’s Catholic Church (now also called St. Andrew the Apostle Parish) two miles away will be the site of all masses and parish events until March 2009.

(Fall photograph from St. Andrew The Apostle Parish homepage)

If you’re in the Taunton area after March, please stop in and attend mass at the refurbished St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church. I can’t wait to return and see the changes. Good changes.

Donations should be encouraged to help restore the church. If so moved, you can send a donation to St. Andrew The Apostle Parish. I know there are many Catholics nationwide that would truly appreciate in helping to restore this church for all Catholics to attend mass. If there are renovations going on in your diocese, please help. Your faith and attendence is needed.

For more information:
St. Andrew The Apostle Church

Parish Office:19 Kilmer Avenue
Taunton Ma 02780
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:30am – 2:30pm
Phone: (508) 824-5577


Written by smalltalkwitht

January 4, 2009 at 12:46 pm

7 Responses

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  1. “Travels to Scottish churches…”

    I envy!

    Great pics.

    I miss Scotland.

    And, thank you for posting DBD here!!!

    Chris Muir

    January 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm

  2. Thanks so much for sharing ,it’s just a wonderful old church.


    January 4, 2009 at 5:56 pm

  3. You’re welcome Chris! Kudos for DBD. It sometimes makes my day in politics to read the funny side of being conservative. There are times when you post exactly my thoughts.

    For those of you who don’t know, Chris Muir is the extremely talented cartoonist of daily cartoon strip Day By Day (aka DBD). You can read it daily on my blog or go to Chris’s website at:


    January 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm

  4. Unfortunately my
    Roman Catholic Church
    looks like a stadium.


    January 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm

  5. I’m so glad you had a positive encounter with a modern Catholic Church. It reminded me of what we found for our parish when we made our move. Contrast what I would have to deal with if I attended this church with its “Bolshoi Jesus.”


    January 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm

  6. I’m so very pleased to see the inside of St. Joseph’s Church. It helps me to feel a connection with my grandparents and great grandparents and their family. I haven’t been able to connect with any of my Taunton, MA, family yet. However, I was able to locate a distant cousin from that line in Toronto. My 2X great grandfather and her 3X great grandfather were brothers.


    January 5, 2009 at 9:10 pm

  7. Thank you for this article on St. Andrew’s Church. I really enjoyed the write up on the church. Is this the former St. Joseph Church? My great grandparents and several of their children were buried from St. Joseph’s Church. My grandmother was baptized in St Joseph’s Church and my grandparents were married in St. Joseph’s Church. I guess I’d have to look it up in my genealogy records to be sure but I think it was St. Joseph’s Church. We were on a genealogy trip about six or seven years ago and we did look at the outside of the church but it looked like it was locked up so we just went on.


    January 5, 2009 at 9:11 pm

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