Thanks so much for the great response to this blog!
A special thank you to those who have passed it on to others. We are heading quickly to amazing page visits to this blog! Welcome to folks from all over the country and other countries as well, including Lisbon!!

The "Village", as it was called, is located in the northwest corner of the city of Taunton, Massachusetts U.S.A. It covers about 1 square mile with the center being School Street. A large portion of the Village population was Portuguese when I was growing up.

This blog covers a lot of the history of the Village, much to do with my years as a child there: 1940 through the late 1950's. I do have many wonderful photos and information prior to that that and will share those as well. Always looking for MORE PHOTOS AND MORE STORIES TO TELL.

If you would like to send photos or share a memory of growing up in the Village
e-mail me at
feel free to comment on the posts. Directions are on the right side of the blog posts. Jump in, the water is fine and it is easy!!!

I will be posting photographs but not identifying individuals unless I have permission or they are a matter of public record. It you wish to give me permission, please let me know.

I am looking for any and all photos of the Village...

Please note: the way blogs work is that the latest post is first. It you would like to start from the beginning of the blog, check out the post labels on the right of the blog and go from there. Thanks.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


There was an excerpt from American Interest online by Walter Russell Meade
in the Wall Street Journal this week that seems appropriate to quote 
as I write these St. Anthony posts.

" The Catholic Church in America suffers from an
acute problem as the descendants of the 19th and early 20th century mass migrations
of Catholics from other countries......move farther away from their roots,
they are also moving away from a sense of their
inherited Catholic identity...... The ethnic neighborhoods
with their ...organizations in and centered on parish churches have
been fading away since World War II....."

As I revisit our own neighborhood roots, I am struck by that quote and
how it pertains to the Village.  As we look at these photos, especially the early ones,
we feel the strength, the numbers, the closeness of
this Parish which was truly an anchor.  I am still able to remember and enjoy the end of
those days so can imagine what came before,  It is another reason that this
blog is important as I try to record as much as possible.  Like the saying
I gather these lilies while I may.
We must hold to the treasure that is our history, for as Mr. Meade says,
it is fading fast.

Again, I urge you to share old photos, if you are lucky enough to still
have them.  Simple to scan and email them to me, 
or send them to me and I will scan them and carefully send them back to you.

Let's make those memories shine again!

My own first memory of St. Anthony's was that I was dressed as a little angel in procession with a gaggle of other boys and girls, feathered wings and long silky gowns for the girls afflutter in the breeze.  There were always processions, even all the way up School Street to Braga Square where traffic was halted.  Sonny Mador remembers that well.  Men hoisted on their shoulders a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or Our Lady, or perhaps the silken canopy for the priest who was holding the Cibborium.  

                                                      My First Communion photo:1948
                                                         I had lost my two front teeth
                                                         so kept my lips pressed shut.

The hardest thing for little kids
was when the Host got stuck on the roof of your mouth and you thought 
you were in real trouble!

  I just about remember
the Minstral Shows (no longer a tradition for obvious reasons) as the one below in 1949.

"I (Arlene) am right behind the interlocator (the M.C.), Chris Soares,
dressed in a white suit.  Tony Pimental, music director, is next to him
in a tuxedo.... we rehearsed in the little parish hall
on Washington St.....many romances blossomed into
long lasting marriages."
Arlene Gouveia


All through the years the basement church was our central core: baptizing our children to
consigning our departed.  It wound about is, offering shelter, absolution,
 friendship and understanding. The parish was so active that often
three priests were assigned to it.

The parish of St. Anthony's was a major link to our Portuguese roots.
I can still hear the shushing whispered prayers of the black clad grandmothers
 kneeling in the pews, and the Mass often 
said in Portuguese, as it still is today.  Portuguese culture centers on religious activities 
for both faith and social needs, and it did so in a much greater way
when we were growing up than today.  What a gift that even though at the
tail end, I could be part of it all.

next post: The New St. Anthony's Church.

   NOTE: please check back on earlier St. Anthony posts as many names 
have been added to the photos!

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