Friars, Parishioners Around the Province Commemorate Feast of St. Anthony

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

A variety of ceremonies and activities was held last week from South Carolina to New England to commemorate the June 13 Feast of St. Anthony.  Samples of a few are described here.

In Greenville, S.C., St. Anthony of Padua Parish celebrated its patronal feast with a festive Mass, followed by a viewing of the film “St. Anthony,” accompanied by homemade bread by the Poor Clares of the city, homemade chocolate chip cookies and St .Anthony’s brew, according to pastor Patrick Tuttle.

“We gave out our usual grocery bags (50+ per day) but on the feast they contained the words of St. Anthony — a copy of The Anthonian magazine and a prayer card of St. Anthony.  We feed them every day in honor of St. Anthony,” Patrick said.

In New York City, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi on West 31st Street opened the feast day at 7 a.m. with Mass and the distribution of St. Anthony’s bread to passersby.

Prior to the church’s 7:00 a.m. Breadline, a daily service, Jerome blessed St. Anthony’s bread. He also sprinkled breadline guests with holy water as friars gave each guest a small bag of St. Anthony’s Bread in addition to the standard daily meal of juice, fruit, and sandwich and coffee, according to Timothy Shreenan. 

In photo above, Jerome, surrounded by friars Paul Keenan, Fred Dilger, Kevin Tortorelli, Felix McGrath, Vincent Laviano and Patrick Fitzgerald, blesses St. Anthony’s Bread before the early morning breadline.

Twelve more Masses followed with special services held in Italian, Spanish, French, Korean as well as English. The street echoed with the musical sounds of the singers. Among the friars celebrating Masses were pastor Jerome Massimino, Anthony Carrozzo, Brian Jordan, Tim Shreenan, Miguel Loredo and Kevin Tortorelli.

Each service was filled with local office workers, bankers, police, and domestic workers  all sharing the spirit of St. Anthony. The basement shrine of St. Anthony also hosted a steady stream of the faithful gazing upon the relic and paying devotion at various displays of the saint. The bread was passed continually until the final Mass, in Korean, at 8:30 p.m. Videos were taken of all the Masses, which appear on the St. Francis of Assisi Web site .

In Northern New Jersey, the feast of St. Anthony was a momentous occasion for St. Anthony Parish in Butler, according to pastor Thomas Hartle.  After being in the hospital and rehabilitation for more than seven weeks and an additional two weeks of recuperation in the friary, Jude Murphy was able to preside at the  celebration for the patronal feast, he added.  The 11:00 a.m. liturgy was attended by the children in the parish school along with many parishioners.  The students in grade seven performed a pantomime of the life of St. Anthony.  They also wrote the script for the pantomime.  Jude’s usual warmth and friendliness and, of course, his sense of humor shone through the entire celebration.  All seemed pleased to see Jude again, said Thomas, adding, “his presence added a special note to our feast day celebration.”

In Boston, the friars from St. Anthony Shrine and St. Anthony Residence gathered on June 12 to begin the celebration of the feast of St. Anthony.  In keeping with the custom of Boston’s North End feasts, a statue of St. Anthony was placed in the recreation room.  During the day, the friars pinned money to the ribbons adorning the statue.  This money was then given as prizes with first prize being the amount on the statue matched by the house, and second prize, according to John Maganzini, being the amount of money on the statue.  At 5:00 p.m., the communities gathered for a festive preprandium complete with antipasto, John said.

Dinner followed, which included a pasta dish prepared by the shrine’s kitchen staff.   During dessert (Italian pastries from the Italian North End), the drawing for the prize money was held. First prize went to Leo Clifford.Second prize to our newly professed, Daniel Horan, John said, adding that “it was a wonderful way to begin the feast.”