Ministries Celebrate St. Anthony of Padua

Maria Hayes In the Headlines

Last week, communities around Holy Name Province commemorated the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. The famous Franciscan, known in life for his preaching ministry and his reputation as a heavenly “wonder worker,” is the patron saint of several HNP ministries, including four parishes and St. Anthony Shrine.

Bread for Others
The day before the feast, St. Anthony Shrine in Boston held a night of reflection and celebration. Meditation was held in the friars’ chapel, followed by a dinner. Proceeds benefitted the Shrine’s many ministries.

On the feast, friars distributed 1,800 pieces of St. Anthony’s bread — donated by Piantedosi Bakery — to passersby, both at the Shrine and in downtown Boston. Photos of James Czerwinski, OFM, Raymond Selker, OFM, and Howard O’Shea, OFM, distributing bread appear on the Shrine’s Facebook page.

The next day, the Arch Street Band gave a concert, followed by a reception. James Sabak, OFM, a professor of theology at Providence, R.I., College, led a retreat for the Shrine’s 20s and 30s group. “Liturgy as THE Dynamic Action of Catholic Life” included theme-based presentations, group discussions and time for personal reflection, as well as a Mass in the friars’ chapel.

Half a block from the busy Pennsylvania Station in New York City, Thomas Walters, OFM, and other friars and their partners-in-ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Parish handed out commemorative breads to commuters and other passersby between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

On Sunday June 9, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Butler, N.J., where Michael Jones, OFM, is pastor, held a St. Anthony’s Day celebration. Festivities began with a bilingual Mass in the morning, followed by a day of food, games, entertainment, a petting zoo, and music that included Polish polkas and a mariachi band.

Last Friday, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., kicked off its St. Anthony Fiesta with a concert by singer Enrique Feliz. A Mass was celebrated the next day, followed by the fiesta, which featured food from many countries, a dominoes tournament, bingo, games, music and other festive treats. Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor, spent some time soaked in the dunk tank. Photos from the event are available on the parish’s Facebook page.

In Greenville, S.C., St. Anthony of Padua Parish celebrated the feast of its patron with three events, according toPatrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor. A Mass was offered for all people named Anthony, all ministries named Anthony, and “those who will follow him in both the intellectual and seraphic life,” Patrick said.

On June 14, a semi-formal dance was held to bless the gym floor in St. Anthony of Padua Parish’s new school building. The maple hardwood floor is one of the building’s many features.

The South Carolina parish also held its annual celebration of Juneteenth, marked each year on June 19. Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in Texas. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on Jan. 1, 1983, it was not enforced in Texas and slaves were held in bondage for an extra growing season. The Greenville celebration included music, poems and speeches.

David Convertino, OFM, director of St. Anthony’s Guild, recently returned from a pilgrimage to Italy, where he,Octavio Duran, OFM, and Thomas Hartle, OFM, traveled to various historic cities including Padua, where they visited the Basilica de San Antonio. Photos taken by Octavio were posted to the guild’s Facebook page.

“One of the most wonderful things I have experienced during this part of my pilgrimage is feeling the presence of St. Anthony come alive before my eyes,” David wrote in a reflection from Italy. “He has become a living person who lived his life for the Lord and followed in the footsteps of St. Francis. I always knew this, but now I really feel it. After seeing his relics in the Basilica and kneeling next to the place where he died, I have felt the power of this friar and saint, and now I fully understand the human side of his ministry and preaching.”

 Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.