West Orange – Our Lady of Lourdes

By | April 15, 2012

The church is distinguished by a monumental mosaic of Our Lady’s apparition at Lourdes set on the sanctuary wall.

The stained glass windows are interesting in that they chronicle the history of the Catholic Church in the United States. they include

Columbus Landing in the “New World” – 1492

The North American Martyrs – 1646-1649

The California Missions of Juniper Serra – Late 1700s

Bishop John Carroll, first Catholic Bishop in the United States – 1789

St. Elizabeth Seton – Early 1800s

St. John Neumann – Early 1800s

Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, first bishop of Newark – 1853

John F. Kennedy – Eternal Flame – 1963

Vatican Council II – 1962-1965


West Orange – Saint Joseph

By | April 15, 2012

The site for this delightful country church was donated by Mrs. Josephine M. Schweinler in memory of her husband, Charles. Mrs. Schweinler also donated the cost of the building. The design of the church was influenced by Mrs. Schweinler. The building is of frame construction, the outside walls and roof shingled.

Above the altar is a painting of the Holy Family by Frank Schwarz, described in the treatise “Il Tratatto” by Cenno Cennini.

The colors of the painting have been brought into the polychroming within the church.

Union City – Saint Augustine

By | March 17, 2012

For an excellent professional analysis of this striking church see the website of the International Working Party for the Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites, and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (docomomo_us).


Arthur Rigolo was the architect of the acclaimed St. Philips’s Church in Clifton, featured in Time magazine in 1955, as well as of St. Peter’s Church in Jersey City.

The following is from an article by John Gomez in the Jersey Journal, January 24, 2007.

St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church ascends in angular resplendence above the tenement-lined terra firma of Union City.

A perfect polyhedron situated on New york Avenue between 39th and 40th streets, it stands in – and splits wide open – the epicenter of an architectural axis pinnacled for over a century by the Weehawken Water Tower to the ease, the Simon Silk Mills to the west and, all around its triangular form, the proud Gothic towers of nearby ancestral churches.

The abstracted apparition, rising vertically on a stepped platform, informs us that midway through the 20th century Modernism found its way to Hudson County, irrevocably shifting the Union City street-scape.

In the autumn of 1956, less than two months after being installed as the new parish pastor, Father (James J.) Healy, a Jersey City native, hired an architect.

Arthur Rigolo, Clifton-born and based, came with an impressive resume (that included being) nationally recognized architect of St. Philip the Apostle Church in Clifron, a revolutionary commission that landed him in Time Magazine in 1955.

(Father Healy) desired a deeply canted tent-roof so as to take advantage of the narrow lot between the parish school and rectory.

Rigolo, facing Father Healy’s challenge, had come up with a wild polychromatic psychedelic design: a steeply pitched roof woven with colored terracotta pixels.

(The) parishioners would be spellbound by the spectacular interior, which the Hudson Dispatch called “much more than a trip into the future world of building design.”

In the last few months, St. Augustine’s clay tile canvas has been hammered away and replaced with plain green slate wavers – the result of serious mechanical failures nad high replacement costs. And still the luminous edifice glistens and overwhelms its ancient neighbors, even without its gem-like shroud.



Union City – Saint Joseph

By | March 17, 2012

St. Joseph’s Parish was merged with St. Michael’s Parish in 1983.


Union City – Saint Rocco

By | March 17, 2012

Upper Saddle River – Presentation

By | March 17, 2012

Westfield – Holy Trinity

By | March 17, 2012

Westfield – Saint Helen

By | March 17, 2012

West New York – Our Lady of Libera (Madonna della Libera)

By | March 17, 2012

Newark – Saint Peter (Queen of Angels)

By | February 7, 2012


St. Peter’s Church, founded as a German parish, was suppressed in the late 1950s. The church was constructed with red brick with sandstone accents.The church became the home of Queen of Angels Parish, an African American congregation, until 2011 when the church was closed and the congregants moved to St. Augustine’s Church.

In 1862, shortly after construction was completed, a storm damaged the church, knocking down part of the steeple and pinnacles.

In 1931, the tower was struck by lightning and the upper portion, containing the clock, fell to the ground. The foundation of the church was destabilized as well.

In the 1960s (?), the church was coated with Brickote.