YULAN, N.Y. — The friars and parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua Church here and the surrounding community will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the church with a Mass and dinner on June 3. Edward Cardinal Egan of the Archdiocese of New York will preside at the 11:00 a.m. Mass.
Celebration preparations began with an open meeting 2005, according to pastor Anthony Moore, at which interested parishioners began gathering their ideas.
“I reserved the liturgy for myself and left all else to these volunteers,” Anthony said. “I got an easy job.”
Planning for the event included not only sprucing up the parish (Anthony said he had the wooden floors of the church shined) but also contacting the cardinal’s office.
“It was over a couple of years ago — or maybe just exactly two years ago — that I wrote his eminence inviting him — rather requesting him — to offer Mass for the occasion. He immediately agreed — very graciously.”
Music will be provided by Joseph Butkevicius, “an organist friend of mine from Winsted, Ct.,” Anthony said. Before coming to Yulan in 2002, Anthony was pastor of St. Joseph Church in Winsted. At the Mass, 22 parishioners will be given Francis Medals in appreciation for their service to the church..
The anniversary committee assumed the task of developing a journal to which many offered help. It includes solicited ads from local merchants and also from parishioners, local parishes and from Provincial friaries. The group did a great job, Anthony said.
The committee also arranged a centennial dinner at a local restaurant to which many tickets have been sold.
In July, the parish will hold a special day for children with games, prizes and refreshments, he said. This will be on or near the actual anniversary of the dedication of the first church, July 14.
As part of the spiritual preparation, Anthony said, confession time will be increased and special prayers to St. Anthony will be offered for nine days prior to June 3. “We give thanks to God for his many graces and blessings these 100 years which encompass the tremendous work done by the friars who worked here,” Anthony added.
The historic church is one of four parishes in Sullivan County, N.Y., staffed by the friars. The others are —
— Holy Cross Church in Callicoon
— St. Francis Xavier Church in Narrowsburg
— St. Mary Church in Obernburg.