Let us begin by entering the churchyard through the gate, constructed in the style of those built in England during the Medieval period. Ahead of us is the statue of Our Lady of the Assumption on the rectory lawn. It was placed there in 1960 by the Rev. John Higgins, and has long inspired devotion to our patroness by parishioners and passers-by.
Behind the statue is the original rectory, which predates the parish and now houses the parish offices and rooms used for religious education and the meetings of various groups.
Our garden of St. Francis of Assisi greets parishioners as they enter the parish hall.
The church, originally built as a mission chapel in 1905, was expanded and renovated in 1916, 1926, and 1960. The buttresses at the sides of the nave were added in the 1940's to keep the church from swaying in strong winds.
The interior of the church was extensively redecorated during the pastorate of the Rev. Thomas L. Rita. The dominant color, blue, is in honor of our Lady (blue is traditionally associated with her).
Our Lady of Walsingham
The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, with two adoring angels, sits over the front doors of the church. It was originally over the high altar, being moved here in 1968.
The high altar of our church, with a life-size crucifix placed there in 1968 calling all minds to contemplate the sacrifice that we experience in the Mass.
Near the altar stands the Baptismal Font, at which takes place the Sacrament of Baptism. The Paschal Candle, first lit at the Easter Vigil and subsequently at baptisms and funerals, stands behind it.
Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is to the left as you face the High Altar; it was added in 1960. Here it is shown decorated for our annual Sacred Heart novena.
St. Pius X
The Shrine of St. Pius X is located behind the choir area in the south transept. He is the pope who founded our diocese of Fall River in 1905. Next to the altar is a first class relic of the saint.
Shrine of Our Lady
The Shrine of Our Lady serves as the focus of devotion to our patroness. As Catholics we honor our Lady as the Mother of God and ask for her prayers to her Son, Jesus, on our behalf. The votive candles serve as reminders of prayers here offered, and the intention book holds the names of those for whom prayers are requested.
The image of the pelican underneath the tabernacle has its orgins in the culture of Classical Greece. According to tradition, the mother pelican would cut herself with her beak so that her chicks could survive by receiving nourishment from her blood. With the advent of Christianity this image was adopted as a symbol for the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross of which we partake in Holy Communion.
The letters IHS, seen in various locations throughout this church and many others, is actually a monogram of the Holy Name of Jesus, being the first three letters of His name in Greek (IHSUS).
This image, seen here on one of the benches in the sanctuary, is also Greek, being the first two letters of Christ in that language (XPISTOS). On either side are the Greek letters alpha (A) and Omega (W), the first and last letters of that alphabet (cf. Rev. 21:6).
St. Pius X
This image is found on the tabernacle door in the shrine of St. Pius X; it shows the Crucifixion. Behind the cross are seen the sponge on a stick that was raised to Christ (cf. Jn. 19:29-30), and the spear with which the soldier opened the side of Christ (cf. Jn 19:33-34).