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South Orange – Our Lady of Sorrows


Dedicated in June 1931, the church is a stylistic descendant of the Boston Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century. Faced with Pennsylvania Foxcroft stone, the various elevations of the church contain Gothic detailing that brings to mind other commissions of its architect Charles Maginnis such as the church’s virtual twin, the Church of Saint Gabriel in Washington, DC. With  an artistic framework of French Gothic origin, there also are hints of Art Nouveau and Art Moderne characteristics that can be found in some of the interior’s artistic appointments such as the Stations of the Cross by Rambusch Studios. The bronze Stations of the Cross are particularly noteworthy for the angularity of the figures and hints of Egyptian influence found in numerous works after the discovery of the Tomb of King Tutankhamun.

The floor is of Tennessee marble and the columns of Languedoc marble imported from France.

The contractor was W. H. Fissell and Co.

About The Building


  • Maginnis and Walsh

Architectural Style

  • Gothic Revival

Interior Designer(s)

  • Maginnis and Walsh

Fabricator(s) of Windows

  • Earl Sanborn

Notable Works of Art

  • Stations of the Cross by Rambusch
  • Pulpit panels and other paintings by Joseph Goss Cowell


  • The renovations of 1986 left the main body of the church intact. Unfortunately, the renovations disrupted the harmony of the original design, especially in the sanctuary. The sight lines were disrupted and the design of the marble floor that led one to the sanctuary was lost with the replacement of the marble with its black and white lines by tile.

Current Status: In use

Interior Pictures

Exterior Pictures

Year Opened: 1929


  1. Kath Wurts
    Kath Wurts April 12, 2022

    OLS was my parish from about 1953 to 1973. I loved it there!!! I remember being in the “old” school and then moving into the new building for my 7th and 8th grades. I played on the CYO basketball team and was a member of the Sodality. The “downstairs” was where we had donuts after Mass but when the parish grew it was changed into a chapel for Sunday Mass. They also had a wonderful library down there!! I have WONDERFUL MEMORIES of my parish!! (I now live in California. My parish was founded by Saint Padre Juniper Serra in 1782. The church is about 1/5 th the size of OLA but BEAUTIFUL in its own way!!

  2. Thomas Fissell
    Thomas Fissell January 6, 2015

    My Grandfather was the contractor. All 5 of my siblings went to OLS. I was an altar boy. That’s FISSELL with 2 L’s. LOL. Love the site. Brings back great memories sledding down the parking lot.

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