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A Visual History of Churches

Sofia Dell'Anno and Jeferson Garcia

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Every year, Mr. Embardo’s Church History classes travel to view the various churches around Waterbury. Students examined the different architectural styles and learned about some of the differences between the Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. The day began with a walk down the street to the St. Anne Shrine which is  a beautiful, French Canadian, Gothic church that was established in 1906, and it is considered to be the largest Catholic church in Waterbury. With its beautiful pointed arches, its colorfully stained glass windows, and its delicate designs sketched into the walls, the students found it to be a magnificent sight. Next the students traveled to St. Lucy Catholic Church, a small Italian Romanesque Church that was established in 1926.  This tiny shrine embodies a bell tower and the design evokes the feeling of home. The group then made their way to The Nativity Of The Holy Virgin Mary, a Russian Orthodox church. Unfortunately, due to structural problems, the students were not allowed to enter the church, but from outside they could observe the traditional onion shape domes that set Russian Orthodox churches apart from the rest. Next the students embarked to The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception that was established in 1847 which makes it the oldest church in Waterbury. The basilica is styled after the typical Roman Basilica (courthouse) and it is truly astonishing. In the basilica, the altar is surrounded by enormous marble columns and covered by a huge Baldacchino Bernini (a type of canopy). Last but not least, the group stopped at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Father Perry, the pastor, stopped by to explain what the church represents and to discuss the meaning of the relics.

To conclude the day, the students stopped for pizza at Spartan’s Pizzeria and discussed all that they had seen and heard.  When the students worship in their own parishes, perhaps they will identify some of the architecture, art, and relics that they saw in the churches on the tour.

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