Ministries throughout the Province marked the June 13 feast of St. Anthony with fundraisers and festivals, blessings and bread, and multiculturalism.
The St. Anthony Shrine community in Boston held its annual Mangia! Mangia! pasta dinner fundraiser on June 11, raising nearly $200,000 to benefit the shrine’s Franciscan Food Center.
Partygoers purchased $20 tickets, which included pasta and meatballs, salad, and dessert. David Convertino, OFM, shrine director, emceed the fundraiser.
The dinner was followed by the semi-annual Ministry Expo and Street Fair on June 12 in the shrine’s auditorium, featuring free hot dogs, ice cream and beverages. Artwork by guests of St. Francis House, raffles, giveaways, and a friars’ garage sale added to the fun, according to Diane Monaghan, director of development at St. Anthony Shrine.
St. Anthony bread, which symbolizes the saint’s dedication to the poor, was also distributed after Mass, and white St. Anthony lilies were sold throughout the weekend.
At St. Anthony Parish in Yulan, N.Y., Thomas Jones, OFM, said that the annual St. Anthony’s Mass was held on June 13, followed by breakfast in the parish center.
St. Francis of Assisi Church in Midtown Manhattan, where Andrew Reitz, OFM, is pastor, offered 13 Masses throughout the day on June 13, including those in Spanish, Creole and Tagalog. Approximately 3,900 people attended and roughly 80,000 loaves of St. Anthony bread were distributed.
At St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, N.J., where Jud Weiksnar, OFM, is pastor, the feast day was celebrated June 11 with a bilingual Mass at 11 a.m. Jud explained to the parishioners the significance of the imagery on the St. Anthony stained glass window.
The Mass was followed by the church’s first-ever St. Anthony Festival, complete with food, fun and games till 5 p.m. Musical chairs, youth performances and “cambio de conejo,” a game from El Salvador, rounded out the day, with a special showing of Jud in the inflated moon bounce attraction. “It was fun,” he said.
Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Greenville, S.C., led the parish in its St. Anthony celebration on June 13 with several Masses featuring festive music, inspired homilies and a special blessing.
As in previous years, the feast of St. Anthony was a joyous day throughout the Province.
— Wendy Healy, a freelance writer based in Connecticut, is a frequent contributor to this newsletter.