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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.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


The Village has a beating heart center.  For us in the School Street Village
 it was St. Anthony's Church.
It is a part of our heritage as it was that of our parents and grandparents.
 For a great part of our lives that Church marked our coming into the world,
our coming of age,
our weddings and finally,
our funerals.

That means it takes up a whole lot of space in our memory repertoires.

In 2002, St. Anthony's celebrated its' 100th birthday.  For a total history of the parish you can write or call the Church in Taunton (aren't we lucky, ours is still there!) and they will send you the booklet composed for that event.  Of course, Arlene Gouveia our Village historian played a big part in that booklet.   I am using my own photos as well as that of Arlenes' and the booklet in these posts.  I am also fortunate enough to mine my own genealogical research.

The Souza family were there when it all began in the person of my grandfather. My grandfather, Joseph Nunes Souza, arrived most likely in 1905 from Madeira and without a doubt gathered with those pushing for a Church belonging to the Village.  It is known that he was one of
the founders of the St. Peter's Society at St. Anthony's.

The contracts for the  first church building at St. Anthony's were signed in 1905 and thus began that beloved dark, nearly subterranean building, that initiated us into lives of faith.  I remember those deep stairs that descended into the church proper. You could not see the altar until you arrived mid-stairwell.

St. Anthony's Basement Church
inset photo: Fr. Louro first assigned priest
it looked like a cave grotto

The smell of beeswax candles permeated the air. If the lights were not yet lit, it was dark and
added to the air of mystery.  All the woodwork was dark as well.  Once, when I was perhaps
12 or 13 years of age, our catechism class was misbehaving.  Fr. Oliveira who was
teaching the class, decided the best option was to shut down the lights, lock the door
and let us stew in our misdeeds.  It worked.  We shut right up and he returned to commence
his teaching.  So we knew how dark that church could be.  Incidently, we did like
Fr. Oliveira in spite of that experience.

Exterior: St. Anthony's Old Basement Church : date of photo unknown

Below is a photo of the first Choir at St. Anthony's.  This is from the booklet and was too precious not to include here.  I would say that this is very early in the history of our Church.
Incredibly, Arlene Gouveia has their names which were
shared with her by the later Henrietta Carvalho.

First row left to right: Frank Cayton,Mary Lawrence, Anna Lawrence, Barbara Cayton.  Middle row: Manuel Carvalho, Marion Lina Lawrence, Clara Carvalho, Alda Furtardo Mitchell, Father Alexandro Louro, Mary Netto, Anna Castro.  Last row: Sylvina Carvalho, George Carvalho, Annie Thomas Viera and Manuel Costa,  It is interesting to note that two brothers, the Carvalho boys, married two sisters, one of which was Clara.

Clara Carvalho third row, second from the left was the first organist and continued her work there for 51 years!  I sang in the choir in the 50's and knew her. The family lived around the corner from us.

The earliest family photo at the Church is that of my Uncle Edward Souza, youngest of Joseph and Delphina's children.  Here is a photo of his First Communion at St. Anthonys'. It may have been the same year my Grandfather died so tragically: 1927.  If so, the Church marked this joyful occasion and the other which such a loss for our family.

 photo was taken at Boutin Studio
6 E. Brittania St.
(I would love to pick through
those archives!)

There are more posts to come regarding the history of St. Anthony's so stay in touch.....


  1. I remember our Monseignor Texeira a humble priest who died without even a pair of shoes. he cared for our parrish as it grew around us. He was there when Father Oliveira was in the parrish. When we planned to get married we had to visit with Monseignor as he asked us questions about our plans.

  2. Sylvina and George Carvalho were my great grandparents. Clara and Manuel Carvalho were my Aunt and Uncle. Clara played the organ in the late 60's she played for me well into her late 80's @ Marian Manor. Henrietta was my cousin. She was a pain. RAC