Saint Anthony

Saint Anthony

Anthony of Padua

Anthony or Antony of Padua (Italian: Antonio di Padova) or Anthony of Lisbon (Portuguese: António de Lisboa born Fernando Martins de Bulhões 15 August 1195 – 13 June 1231 [1] [2] ) was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised by a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, and died in Padua, Italy. Noted by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture, and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick, he was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946. He is also the patron saint of lost things.


St. Anthony Catholic Mission, the only Catholic Church in King George County, was built in 1916/1917, at the intersection of State Routes 3 & 610. Before that time there were Catholics in the County who were part of Saint Mary, Fredericksburg. Records show that there were 16 Catholics in King George in 1872.

The current two acre tract of land, known as the “John Burk Corner” was bought by Lucy B. Lewis of Marmion from H. H. Hunter for $250 in 1915. Mrs. Lewis sold the land to the Reverend O’Connell, Bishop of Richmond, for $250 for a church to be built for the Catholic population of King George. According to the records in the office of the Richmond Diocese there were 25 to 30 Catholics in King George in September 1917. Lumber for the church was bought from the Graham D. Richardson sawmill, located on his farm “Cleaydale”, and was hauled on wagons by Carter and Webster Grymes to this site. Snelling Contractors in Fredericksburg contracted to build the Church for the sum of $2,150.

Work was begun in the Spring of 1916 and completed early in 1917, paid in full. The stained glass windows were memorials given by members of the church for their deceased loved ones. A few years later these windows were damaged when teenagers shot holes in them, they were subsequently repaired. Saint Anthony’s, a mission church under Saint Mary’s in Fredericksburg, first Pastor was Father Thomas Bernard Martin. Services were held on a monthly basis on the 2nd Sunday of the month from May to October. Average congregation ranged from 5 to 15. A few years later wood stoves were installed making it possible to hold services year round. The first recorded Catholic baptism in King George took place in 1922. The first Catholic marriage actually took place at the Marmion estate, between Mary Imogene Green and Fielding Lewis. One of the stained glass windows in the church is dedicated to a Fielding Lewis, probably an ancestor. This family descends from Fielding Lewis and Betty Washington Lewis of Fredericksburg. Betty was the younger and only sister of George Washington.

In 1940 Saint Anthony’s was placed as a mission of Saint Elizabeth’s Church in Colonial Beach. Father Basil Raune was the Pastor. Father James Widmer was Pastor of Saint Mary’s in Fredericksburg at the time Saint Anthony’s was separated from his parish. Mass was celebrated only once each month on the 2nd Sunday until about 1952 when Mass was celebrated each Sunday. Over the years the congregation grew and in the 1980’s the Church was not large enough to hold the people. Plans were made to renovate and enlarge the building. This work was completed in 1986 and dedicated in the summer of 1986 by the Reverend John Richard Keating, Bishop of Arlington (Saint Anthony being in the Arlington Diocese). The original stained glass windows were incorporated into the expanded church and can be seen today, a testimony to the founders. The cemetery started in 1931 when Eustace Conway Powell was buried there. In 1938 his son John Armistead Powell was buried beside him. Today there are more than 30 graves in the cemetery, but no new plots are being added.

Saint Anthony’s Hall was built in 1972. The Hall serves as classrooms for religious education, for meetings of the Church Guild, Knights of Columbus, and other Church functions. It is also used by other organizations and for other special functions. The Hall is also the distribution center for the Cheese and Milk Program for the needy. Mass was held in the hall during the time the Church was being enlarged. A very lovely marble statue of the Blessed Mother was given to the Church by Ernestine Ruth Haskins. Later, it was set in an outside flower bed. At one time the statue was stolen. After several weeks it was found, undamaged, wrapped in a baby blanket on the steps of the Fire Tower on the Stafford-Fauquier County Line. It was retrieved and returned to its place where it can be seen today. Today Saint Anthony has grown to serve about 260 families in the Parish.

The History of St. Anthony, Idaho

St. Anthony was founded by C.H. Moon in 1890. He established his home on the corner of Main and Bridge streets where Tony's Mini-Mart is located. Soon after two other families came to this spot by the name of Ross and Wyath. It was decided by Moon to name this spot St. Anthony after the name of St. Anthony Falls, Minn.

For many years this spot was known in the Snake River Valley as " Moon Corner." Ross and Wyath became owners of much land below Parker which was known as the "Ross and Wyath Ranch" and now is called Egin. Shortly after Moon came to this location. Fremont County was created, including everything north of Idaho Falls, Madison, Jefferson, Clark and Teton counties at one time were part of Fremont County.

When Fremont County was created it became a question where to locate the county seat. It was agreed that St. Anthony should temporarily be the county seat but that Rexburg should have the officers. This was to extend five years and them come to a vote, requiring two-thirds of the votes to establish the county seat. It was voted that St. Anthony should thus be it. Two years later another election was called, but again the people decided to keep the seat in St. Anthony.

The railroad came to St. Anthony in 1899. Our former governor, Charles C. Moore, arrived in this city on the first train that reached St. Anthony. Shortly after Moore arrived, H.G. Fuller came to make his home here, as did Gusta Fletcher and her sister, Susan Fletcher. Gusta Fletcher became the first superintendent of Fremont County schools. Moore and Fuller taught school at the old schoolhouse, which is where the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall is located.

Susan Fletcher taught school on the south side in a small building where the South Side School was located. The school was were the U. S. Highway 20 overpass is now. At that time the Bartlett Opera House had been erected in the spot where the Fremont Motor Co. where Sykes Machine is today. The Opera House a few years later burned down. A schoolteacher whose name cant be recalled taught school in this building,as neither of the buildings mentioned was large enough to handle nine children.

Shortly after, the old rock schoolhouse was built where the South Fremont Senior High school is today. It had four rooms and was plenty large enough for all students.

Moore continued teaching until 1902, when he was elected county representative. He became chairman of the Appropriations Committee and in 1903 introduced a bill that brought the State Industrial Training School to St. Anthony. In 1903 the cornerstone was laid at this institution by Charles C. Moore.

The first superintendent of the Industrial School was H.G. Humphreys.

In 1901 Miller Bros. organized and opened up the Miller Bros Grain Co. This burned to the ground a year later, but rebuilt and meant much to this country. Fred C. Sturdevant became connected with this company at this time. Short after St. Anthony was located, a U.S. Post Office was opened in the building where Penny Stanford's law office is today. M.J. Gray was the first postmaster in St. Anthony.

James G. Guinn became the first mayor in St. Anthony and served several years and at other times as mayor. Mr. Guinn became the second judge of this district.

The Presbyterian Church was the first church to open in St. Anthony and was located at the site where it now stands. The Rev. Wilson was the first pastor. Next was the Methodist church, located where Sidney Nielsen and Sons once had their establishment on the south side. This site also was torn down to make room for Highway 20. Rev. Hoffman became the first pastor.

The Mormons then started their organization in a small log building on Main Street with William Carbine as the first bishop. Shortly after they built a small church on the south side west of where Gary's Auto Body is today.

Then came the Catholic, Episcopal and the baptist churches. The Baptist church was located near where Roger and Dolores Marlowe live today and burned down many years ago. The Episcopal Church was located where Farm Bureau Insurance is today on East Main Street. As near as can be learned, the Catholic Church is located where it has always been from the time it was built.

In 1908 the first Civic Club was organized in St. Anthony known as "The Copus Club." Mr. Truex then manager of J. C. Penney Co., became the first president. Two years later it was changed to what was known as the Boosters Club.

It was at this time that 200 men, mostly businessmen from St. Anthony, dressed in white pants, dark coats, gray high hats and carried white umbrellas. Headed by the Industrial School band and with Mr. Fitzgerald the leader, they marched into Idaho Falls on the round-up days and surely put St. Anthony on the map. The key to the city was turned over to Charley W. Scott, Boosters Club president.

Also during those days, every business in St. Anthony closed it's doors every Wednesday at noon and a real day of rest and enjoyment was spent. Each town had its local ball team which played other teams.

They also enjoyed what was known as "The Foolish Day" each Labor Day. It was about this time that the Idaho Industrial School started, with the assistance of the businessmen, to honor and celebrate Flag Day at the school each June 14. Sports were enjoyed by the students and all partook of a fine barbeque, prepared and handed out by the school.

In the years to follow, the Boosters Club turned into what became the Chamber of Commerce. Later appeared the Kiwanis and Lions Clubs.

In 1911 the first picture show,, a silent picture was shown in the room east of the Riverside Hotel, Mr. Snyder being the owner. In 1913, the Gray Opera House was built where Housley Pumps is today. At first it just showed road shows, then later went into the picture show business.

In 1909 the Yellowstone LDS stake was organized with Daniel G. Miller sustained as stake president. Elders George F. Richards and David O. McKay of the twelve effected the organization at Parker, St. Anthony was selected as the headquarters for the stake. The first stake conference was held in the Bartlett Opera House in March 1910, with Elder Rudger Clawson of the council of twelve being present.

On July 24, 1910. The first Mormon pioneer celebration in St. Anthony was introduced with William M. Hansen as the promoter. The following 34 years Hansen served part of the time as general chairman, but every time as marshal of the day.

About 1907 St. Anthony had the three largest department stores this side of Pocatello. They were Skalet & Gilman, Fogg & Jacobs and The Flamm Co. Skalet & Gilman was located on the corner of the intersection of North Bridge and First North streets. Fogg & Jacobs had just completed the building where the St. Anthony Starch Factory was operating. It was torn down for Highway 20. The Flamm Co. was doing business in the building known as Club Billiards and the former China Clipper Cafe, also the full basement under where Robert Fisher's office is located. Today these buildings are the New Life Christian Ministries and the southern dining room at the Silver Horseshoe.

In 1910-1912 the Yellowstone LDS tabernacle was erected.

In 1918 our good townsman, Honorable Charles C. Moore, was elected lieutenant governor, which position he filled two terms, then was elected governor of the state and served two terms- in all served in the Statehouse eight years.

Until the County Courthouse was built in 1909 the county office was in a small frame building where Nels Sahl's law office is today. Those buildings were sold at the time the courthouse was completed.

The city park was established and improved in 1916 under the direction and encouragement of Frank L. Soule. During the flu epidemic in 1917-1919, the first hospital was established in St. Anthony. It was in the large, white, square two story house on the way to the Industrial School. The building now is a duplex apartment building located across the street and west of where Jerry and Maxine Edgington live today.

Later the building owned by Wrights Wocelkas and today by Ken Matthews as an apartment house near the Sand Bar was built as a hospital and served until 1932.

In 1928 there were two show houses operating in St. Anthony - The Rialto by Nell Schreiber and The Rex by William M. Hansen. The Rialto was the first to bring to St. Anthony the " Talkies."

The Rialto Theater was operating where the Hansen Funeral home did business in 1963 and where First Security Bank is today. The Rex Theater was located where Fremont County Herald-Chronicle is today.

Fremont County Centennial Edition , Thursday, March 4, 1993

St. Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony was born Fernando Martins in Lisbon, Portugal. He was born into a wealthy family and by the age of fifteen asked to be sent to the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, the then capital of Portugal. During his time in the Abbey, he learned theology and Latin.

Following his ordination to the priesthood, he was named guestmaster and was responsible for the abbey's hospitality. When Franciscan friars settled a small hermitage outside Coimbra dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt, Fernando felt a longing to join them.

Fernando eventually received permission to leave the Abbey so he could join the new Franciscan Order. When he was admitted, he changed his name to Anthony.

Anthony then traveled to Morocco to spread God's truth, but became extremely sick and was returned to Portugal to recover. The return voyage was blown off-course and the party arrived in Sicily, from which they traveled to Tuscany. Athony was assigned to the hermitage of San Paolo after local friars considered his health.

As he recovered, Anthony spent his time praying and studying.

An undetermined amount of time later, Dominican friars came to visit the Franciscans and there was confusion over who would present the homily. The Dominicans were known for their preaching, thus the Franciscans assumed it was they who would provide a homilist, but the Dominicans assumed the Franciscans would provide one. It was then the head of the Franciscan hermitage asked Anthony to speak on whatever the Holy Spirit told him to speak of.

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Though he tried to object, Anthony delivered an eloquent and moving homily that impressed both groups. Soon, news of his eloquence reached Francis of Assisi, who held a strong distrust of the brotherhood's commitment to a life of poverty. However, in Anthony, he found a friend.

In 1224, Francis entrusted his friars' pursuits of studies to Anthony. Anthony had a book of psalms that contained notes and comments to help when teaching students and, in a time when a printing press was not yet invented, he greatly valued it.

When a novice decided to leave the hermitage, he stole Anthony's valuable book. When Anthony discovered it was missing, he prayed it would be found or returned to him. The thief did return the book and in an extra step returned to the Order as well.

The book is said to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna today.

Anthony occasionally taught at the universities of Montpellier and Toulouse in southern France, but he performed best in the role of a preacher.

So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, most unlettered and the innocent could understand his messages. It is for this reason he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

Once, when St. Anthony of Padua attempted to preach the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he went out and preached his message to the fish. This was not, as liberals and naturalists have tried to say, for the instruction of the fish, but rather for the glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of his own heart. When critics saw the fish begin to gather, they realized they should also listen to what Anthony had to say.

He was only 35-years-old when he died and was canonized less than one year afterward by Pope Gregory IX. Upon exhumation some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it.

He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus and is commonly referred to today as the "finder of lost articles."

St Anthony is venerated all over the world as the Patron Saint for lost articles, and is credited with many miracles involving lost people, lost things and even lost spiritual goods.

Fire Starter

In the 18th and 19th centuries science revealed that the condition is caused by eating grain infected with a fungus, Claviceps purpurea. Infected plants bear black growths resembling a rooster’s spurs (ergot in French), giving the condition its modern name: ergotism.

When ingested, ergot produces toxic alkaloids that cut off the blood supply to the body’s extremities, turning the limbs gangrenous and creating the hellish sights described by Mézeray. Symptoms emerged when people ate the grain or any foodstuffs made from it. Cows are also affected by ergot. Accounts describe how their hooves and tails turned gangrenous, milk production stopped, and death typically followed. Outbreaks of St. Anthony’s fire caused widespread devastation to rural communities.

There is evidence that ancient people were aware of the condition’s association with grain. An Assyrian tablet from the seventh century B.C. refers to pustules on an ear of grain, while holy Zoroastrian texts in Persia refer to grasses that caused pregnant women to miscarry or die in childbirth, another of the poison’s dreaded effects.

In medieval Europe increased rye cultivation and consumption, mostly by the poor, exposed large parts of the population to the risk of contracting St. Anthony’s fire. Ergotism did not affect all of Europe in equal measure. It is now known that Claviceps purpurea spores proliferate where there is cool, damp weather when grain ripens, conditions particularly prevalent in large areas of central Europe.

Saint Anthony - History

The Church of St Anthony has its beginning as a small wooden chapel dedicated to St Anthony of Padua in Mandai. In 1960, it was replaced by a new church in the same area which officially opened on the 18th of December, 1960 by His Grace, Archbishop Mgr M. Olcomendy. In 1986, the small community in Mandai was issued a notice of resettlement and a new church was built in Woodlands where it stands today. In 2019, the Church of St Anthony celebrated its 25th year in Woodlands. This will be followed by its 60th year in Singapore in 2020.

Who were they? Where did they come from?

More than 60 years ago, in 1927, a group of Catholic villagers in Swatow, China, was forced to flee their homes and head for a safer place. It was the 16th year of the Chinese Republic and the political unrest had spread across the country.

That same year, on the 27th of January, two villages – Hui Lai and Pegney were attacked by a bandit army. For 24 hours, the local fought and resisted the bandits. As night fell, a temporary cease-fire was installed. The two villages, on the losing end, convened an urgent meeting.

Should they stay or flee?

Their decision – to flee. To stay would mean death.

With the night as their protection, the old the young and the women were secreted out of the village first. The men tarried, acting as a strong rear-guard. One villager recounted: “It was a cold dark night with only a few stars throwing a faint light on the dirty track”.

Throughout the night, under the cover of darkness, they trudged for miles without stopping. Driven by their fear, they moved in the still on the night and not one footstep was heard.

By dawn, they had arrived a Leng Kang, a small town. Overcome by exhaustion they collapsed in a roadside temple. There they awaited for the men to arrive before proceeding to Swatow. Several hundred villagers had managed to escape.

Immediately the Swatow Mission went to work

By the time they reached Swatow, it was February. When they got there, they sought refuge from the Catholic Church. The Bishop of Swatow immediately cabled abroad appealing for relief and assistance.

As they awaited news from overseas, they were temporarily housed in the disused Saint Joseph Middle School. Food, medicine and support came from the Jeng Ai Huay, an organization of Swatow Catholics.

The first offer of help came from the Bishop of Singapore. Singapore will take in those families who were willing to leave China for the South Seas.

Immediately, the Swatow Mission went to work. The families began their journey to Singapore. After ten days, on the 1st of March, 1927, they set foot on the island.

The Birth of the Catholic Village

With no money, the villagers could not buy nor rent land. With the help of Fr. Stephen Lee, an application in the name of the Catholic Mission was submitted to the Government for a plot of land for cultivation. Altogether 49 applications were sent before the request was granted.

The land given was one hundred acres of hilly and wild jungle in the dense forest in Mandai. It was distributed to the refugees according to family size. It wasn’t an easy task making the land cultivable. But spurred on by the need to survive and to start anew, they set to work, toiling day and night.

The areas were finally cleared. The land was tilled and shacks were built and the area was known as the Catholic Village. In recognition of Fr. Lee’s effort, the Government later named the main road Stephen Lee Road.

A Chapel and a School

To attend Mass, the newly-settled Catholic villagers in Mandai had to walk to Sar Kak Eng (Woodlands) to catch a bus to St Joseph Chapel in Tek Ko Hill (Bukit Timah). The journey to and from the chapel would take half a day at least.

With the help of Mr. Lee Kheng Seng and his brother, Mr. Lee Kheng Guan, a new wooden chapel was built in Mandai.

Fr. Lee dedicated the Chapel to St Anthony of Padua and from then on, the Feast Day of St Anthony has been held annually on the 13th of June.

The War Years

During the Japanese Occupation, the Chapel was under the care and administration of Fr. J.R. de Rozario of St Joseph Church in Tek Ko Hill (Bukit Timah).

Despite traffic restrictions, two nights per weeks, Fr. Rozario would cycle from Bukit Timah to Mandai to celebrate Mass at the Chapel that evening and the next morning.

A New Church in 12-J Stephen Lee Road

After the war, 1949, the Chapel was put under the supervision of Fr. Joachim Teng. Gradually, the Catholic population in Mandai increased.

In 1957, Fr. Teng set out to build a new Church. With skilful planning and hard work, he managed to raise several tens of thousands of dollars.

The Church of St Anthony, standing on a hillock, was blessed and officially opened on the 18th of December, 1960, by His Grace, Archbishop Mgr M. Olcomendy.

On 30th May, 1965, Fr. Rene Challet took up residence and became the Church’s first Parish Priest. Before that, the Church had served as an outstation of St Joseph’s Church in Bukit Timah.

Formation of the Pastoral Committee

Some 15 months later Fr. Challet was replaced by Fr. Cyprien Huc soon after being transferred to the parish of St Stephen in Mapherson. Fr. Huc had been preaching in China for 22 years before coming to Singapore in December 1953.

Assisting Fr. Huc was Rev. Fr. Augustine Tay in 1976. Together, they created a Christian unity in the formation of the pastoral Committee, paving the way for a future Parish Council.

Mass at Void Deck Block 6 Marsling Drive

When Fr. Tay left for further studies in Rome, Fr. John Lee came to the church, as a deacon, in 1981.

As a priest later, Fr. Lee concentrated on the Liturgy of the Church and worked actively with the young people of the Church then. Today, they still remember him very well.

During that time, to cater to the Marsiling residences, a Mass would be celebrated every Sunday, at 10.00 a.m. at the void deck of Block 6, Marsiling Drive. The permit for the void deck expired and was subsequently renewed with the Housing and Development Board till December, 1982.

Parish Council was reformed in August 1985

In 1980, Fr. Huc resigned as the Parish Priest and the problem of catering to the Marsiling residents fell into the hands of the new Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. John Khoo. Fr. Khoo, from St Bernadette’s Church, took over on the 1st of October, 1982, after Fr. Huc had kindly agreed to carry on for two more years.

When he arrived, Fr. Khoo learnt that with the growth of the Woodlands New Town, he had to meet the needs of the new residents in the district. He continued to change the face of the parish as initiated by Rev. Frs. Augustine Tay and John Lee.

To create a sense of belonging, the Parish Council was reformed in August 1985. It included representatives from all Church’s organizations.

Changes and Improvements to the Church by Fr John Khoo

For the Marsiling residents, there would not be any more masses at the void deck of Block 6. Instead, buses started plying between Marsiling and the Church in Mandai on Sundays, Feast Days, Days of Obligation and important days so that they could attend Mass at the Church. The chartering of buses was handled by Mr. Dominic Soh.

Another change was the Public Address System in the Church. It was specially installed to enabled the sound to come from all the pews. This is also installed in the new Church.

Finally, the most significant changes.

When Fr. Khoo first came to the Church of St Anthony, he decided that the Priests’ Residence should be opened at all times, even when the priests were not around.

Soon, the parish began to serve as a “tuition centre” for the children. Some volunteers responded to the call of the parish to give free tuition in English and Mathematics. Later, the older children too, assisted the younger ones in their studies. These efforts contributed to a few graduates today.

Fr. Khoo also encouraged the parishioners and children to regard the church as their second home. They helped build a basketball court and a mini football field to compensate for the lack of recreational facilities in the area. Also, a car park was built for churchgoers and visitors.

Fr. Khoo also designed a more systematic religious instruction programme in English. Two sessions were carried out on Sundays, at 9.00 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. at the Priests’ Residence. This went on till the closing of the Church on 12 December 1993.

The Notice of Resettlement to the people of Mandai

The Notice of Resettlement to the people of Mandai and to the Church of St Anthony was issued in 1986. It was a painful for many to leave their birthplace and their livelihood.

With the Notice of Resettlement, Fr. Khoo immediately made a personal appeal to the Member of Parliament, Mr. Lee Yiok Seng, for a piece of land in Woodlands to relocate the Church. St Anthony was great. We were successful in 1989 tender for an excellent piece of land in 25 Woodlands Avenue One.

The new Church is what you see today. It’s to be officially opened and blessed by His Grace, Archbishop of Singapore, Mgr Gregory Yong on 23rd April, 1994.

Moving the Church for the third time since 1927

St Anthony has had to move his Church for the third time since 1927 from Mandai to Woodlands. We hope that this will be the permanent parish for the Catholics in Woodlands and Marsiling. It is one of the biggest churches in Singapore.

Rev. Fr. John Khoo oversaw the construction of the new Church building in Woodlands when the land where the original church stood was acquired by the government for alternate use.

The new church was blessed and opened on 23 April 1994 by the Archbishop of Singapore, His Grace, Mgr. Gregory Yong. The new church has a sitting capacity of 2000 parishioners.

The parish has grown from a small farming community of over a hundred migrants to 4500 parishioners.

The newly ordained Archbishop of Singapore, His Grace, Mgr. Nicholas Chia on 18 February 2002 replaced Rev. Fr. John Khoo and his assistant, Fr Eugene Chong, with Rev. Fr. Terence Pereira as the new parish priest and his assistance Rev. Fr. Vincent Chee with Rev. Fr. Cyril Lee as the priest in residence.

Fr Pereira spent the next 14 years in St Anthony’s and left for the Church of St Michael in 2017. Fr Terence was replaced by Fr Andrew Wong from the Church of the Holy Spirit. Fr Wong left in 2018 to head the Catholic Spirituality Center (CSC) and the Church welcomed a new Parish Priest, Fr Ignatius Yeo. During the 14 years when Fr Terence was Parish Priest, many assistant priests served at St Anthony’s including Fr Bruno Saint Girons, Fr Gerard Verakoon and Fr Frederick Quek.

Extending the Church with The Fireplace

As the number of students attending Catechism classes grew, there was a pressing need for more classrooms. Fr Terence initiated the building of a new Annex called the Fireplace. The new extension was built over the open car park of the Church. It was officially opened on Oct 25, 2014.

The new annex building, the Fireplace standing to the left of the Church building

Consecration of the Church and the Blessing of the Fireplace

The Church was consecrated on Aug 24, 2014 by His Grace, Archbishop William Goh who also blessed the Fireplace on the same occasion.

His Grace, Archbishop William Goh blessing one of the rooms in the Fireplace accompanied by Fr Terence Pereira

Renovation of the Church

Fr Andrew Wong began a project to renovate the church in 2017 but after he left in 2018, Fr Ignatius Yeo took over the project and the renovations were completed in early 2020. The renovations involved both the interior and exterior parts of the church.During the renovations, masses were relocated to levels 3 and 4 of the Fireplace, with the first mass celebrated there on Jan 5, 2019. Prior to starting masses in the Fireplace, much work was done by the liturgical ministries and Fr Ignatius including dry runs in December 2018. Worship returned to the main church just before Holy Week in 2019.

Confirmation Mass, Jan 26, 2019 in the Fireplace

Sanctuary after the Renovation

Post Renovation Blessing of the Church

With the extensive renovations to the Church, His Grace Archbishop William Goh, blessed the Church of St Anthony once again on Jul 21, 2019.

Suspension of Masses Due to A Pandemic!

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, masses throughout the Archdiocese were suspended on Feb 12, 2019.

List of Priests Who Have Served at St Anthony’s

A long list of priests have served in either the chapel (1927) or one of the churches in Mandai (1965) or Woodlands 1994).

  1. Fr Stephen Lee circa 1927-1935
  2. Fr D’Souza TBD
  3. Fr J.R. De Rozario During the Japanese occupation
  4. Fr H. Berthold 1948-1949
  5. Joachim Teng 1949-1960
  6. Fr Simon Yim 1963-1967
  7. Fr J. Chao TBD
  8. Fr R. Challet 1965 – 1966
  9. Fr Cyprian Huc 1966-1982
  10. Fr Augustine Tay 1976 – 1981
  11. Fr John Khoo (PP) 1980 – 18/2/2002
  12. Fr Eugene Chong 1993 – 18/2/2002
  13. Fr Terence Pereira (PP) 2002 – 23/4/2017
  14. Fr Vincent Chee 2002 – circa 2008
  15. Fr Cyril Lee 2002 – present
  16. Fr Bruno Saint Girons 18/12/2008 – 17/1/2011
  17. Fr Gerard Weerakoon 2011 – 1/5/2015
  18. Fr Frederick Quek 26/8/2013 – 23/4/2017
  19. Fr Andrew Wong (PP) 23/4/2017 – 1/7/2018
  20. Fr Ignatius Yeo (PP) 5/11/2018 – present
  21. Fr Edmund Chong 5/11/2018 – present
  22. Fr John Lau 23/4/2017 – May 15, 2021

This article was contributed by Rev. Fr. John Khoo and Rev. Fr. Terence Pereira and updated by Anthony Ng.

History of Saint Anthony

On June 26, 1999, St. Anthony’s celebrated three important anniversaries with a fund-raising dinner at our Hellenic center.

  • 45th year of the granting of our church charter
  • 40th year of purchasing our church property
  • 15th year of the church consecration

Charles Christodulelis was chairman of the gala fund-raising event. The guest speaker was Maria Pantelia, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics and Thesaurus Linguae Graecae Director for the University of California, Irvine.

History of the Church
(excerpt from the 1984 Consecration Album) On June 6, 1965, family photos and community memorabilia were sealed in a time capsule embraced by a block of Pentelic marble in a historic cornerstone. The cornerstone now sits at the southwest corner of the Hellenic Cultural center. The center was dedicated in May of 1966 and added nine classroom, office space, and an auditorium to the church’s physical plan.

With the completion of the Hellenic Cultural center the St. Anthony’s Community would now seek to construct a larger church to meet the needs of the growing parish. In May 1974, the Parish Council formed a Building Committee to execute plans for a new church and help with fund raising. Ground was broken on St. Anthony’s Day in January 1975 with Father Nicholas Liberis and Bishop Meletios presiding. Actual demolition of the old church did not occur until November of that year.

Over the next two years the church’s unique Byzantine style, designed by Harry Harrison, would take form out of the masonry, concrete and scaffolding which were an all too familiar sight. Our own James Hagelis was the contractor and Tom Pappas the structural engineer. Eventually the church would be embellished with a 22-ton concrete dome and icons by the noted iconographer George Filippakis. The congregation of St. Anthony’s would hold church services in the center during construction until September 1977, when the magnificent Byzantine edifice held its first service.

The Narthex furnishings and other Church appointments would not be completed until two days before the historic Consecration on June 10, 1984. The ancient and elaborate Consecration ceremony conducted by Archbishop Iakovos, assisted by Bishop Anthony, Father John Zanetos and other clergy was the final touch to a building program which spanned 12 years of planning and construction and $850,000 in costs. The building program was carried by an able committee headed by George Gianopulos.

The beautiful church and community center which now grace the grounds of St. Anthony’s are a tribute to the dedication, ambition, love and sacrifice of the Greek Orthodox Community of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley.


St. Anthony of Padua parish was established in December, 1856 by Franciscan Father Joseph Brunemann, at the mandate of the Most. Rev. John Loughlin, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn. During the first fifteen years of its existence the parishioners attended Holy Mass in a wooden structure on India Street. Rev. John Brady, the first pastor of St. Anthony was responsible for obtaining the original property on India Street, the construction of the two story school there, and also for the construction of the much larger church we hold dear today. The present Church on Manhattan Avenue was opened in 1874. Patrick C. Keeley of Brooklyn designed the Gothic Revival church, which is constructed of red brick with white limestone trim, and features a 240-foot spire.

In 1975, St. Alphonsus Church was merged into St. Anthony Church, after which the parish was renamed St. Anthony – St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. In 1982, the Greenpoint Historic District was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee. St. Anthony – St. Alphonsus Church is within this district.

Today, the parish has been entrusted to the care of Carmelite Priests in 2011. The present pastor is Rev. Sebasitan Augustine, CMI. He is assisted by Rev. Jossy Vattothu, CMI. St. Anthony-St. Alphonsus Parish faces the future with an indomitable spirit of hope. In a world that is filled with so much uncertainty and anxiety, the parish recognizes that trusting in God’s wise and caring providence must be constant. On this basis its plans are to carry on into the future “to witness, to serve and to continue the mission.” The various ministries provided by the parish including religious education helps to deepen the faith of the community.

History of St. Anthony of Padua

As the city of Parma rode the wave of residents flocking to the suburbs where street after street of homes were going up, the Catholic Parishes felt the pressure of this influx. On July 4, 1959, Archbishop Edward R Hoban canonically established St. Anthony of Padua Parish as part of the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart.

The Holy Family Cancer Home and another residence were on the property allocated to the parish. During the summer of 1959 a new hospital for the cancer patients was completed and the Dominican Sisters, who staffed the hospital, and the patients under their care moved across State Road into the new hospital facility.

Fr. Jeremy Fisher, O.F.M. was appointed founding pastor and arrived in Cleveland from St. Peter's in Chicago on June 27. Before the end of the month he was meeting with architects to plan the new parish buildings.

By mid-July, Fr. Jeremy moved into the Old Riester home on State Road which had just been vacated by the Dominican Sisters on that same day. The first Mass in St. Anthony parish was offered in the chapel of this rectory.

Monsignor Frederic Mohan, Director of Diocesan Charities offered the facilities of Parmadale as a temporary church and meeting place to the parishioners of the new parish. The first SundayMasses were offered in Parmadale chapel on July 12.

With little fanfare the following organizations were rapidly established: ushers, male choir, Holy Name Society and Ladies Guild.

To round out the first year of St. Anthony of Padua, Fr. William Barnickel, O.F.M. joined the parish as first assistant. A Boy Scout troop was organized and a Knights of Columbus Council was in the planning stages. The men of the parish stepped forward to remodel the old cancer hospital and this building became known as St. Anthony Hall. A parish census revealed the parish had 1,129 families. Plans were drawn up for a parish school and church.

The new year of 1960 saw the launching of a building fund campaign. On a March Sunday morning, with some snow still in evidence, ground was broken for the gym/temporary church. During the first two years the children continued to attend St. Francis de Sales school but the C.C.D. classes were conducted at Parmadale.

St. Anthony Federal Credit Union was formed to serve the parishioners.

It was decided that the first fund raiser for the parish would be a spaghetti dinner to be coordinated with the first carnival. Equipment was borrowed and gallons and gallons of spaghetti sauce were prepared in tubs in the basement of the Thesmacher home, which was later to become St. Anthony Hall. The dinners, complete with salad and bread, were passed through the basement windows of the home to the waiting diners. Our parishioners certainly had no lack of ingenuity.

By January 1961 the building of the gym/temporary church was sufficiently advanced so that the first Mass could be offered in the church on Sunday, January 29. A "few items" were still incomplete - a platform for the altar, confessionals, rebuilt pews and kneelers.

The Ladies Guild held their meetings once a month at St. Anthony's Hall. Because the driveway was in rather "rustic" condition, several times during inclement weather members found their cars mired. Fr. Jeremy came to their rescue, pushing cars out of the mud. However, he soon tired of this and the Guild meetings were transferred to the Third Federal Bank on Ridge Road.

Farm nights, a two day fund raiser held in November, was family fun. A surprise lady wearing a costume with huge pockets filled with goodies delighted the little ones. There were games of chance, live ducks to ring, food and refreshments.

May 13, 1961 saw the first group of First Communicants in our own church.

The ever increasing enrollment of the grade school made it necessary to convert the former cancer home into a convent. Six Sisters of Saint Joseph joined the parish to staff the school. They were not the only new residents of this facility - a family of skunks found the space under the porch to their liking. Their presence was soon evident. A newspaper story brought many suggestions on how to convince them to move on.

August 1961 saw completion of the school building in time for the fall term with fifteen classrooms housing the 826 children enrolled.

The parish continued to progress. Plans were drawn up for a new convent to house the staff of nine sisters.

On July 24, 1966 St. Anthony Rectory was struck by lightning at 8:30 pm and a small fire resulted, damaging the second floor with smoke. The fire was quickly extinguished. Insurance covered repairs and repainting that were necessary.

Fr. Jeremy was transferred by the Franciscans in 1966. It was hard for the parish to bid farewell to our founding pastor who had seen the parish literally rise from an empty field. Fr. William Barnickle O.F.M. then served until 1968, at which time Fr. Donulus Wunderlich, O.F.M. succeeded him.

The Sisters of St. Joseph moved into the completed convent in August 1967. There were 22 rooms for resident sisters and guests. The first floor served as study rooms, reception rooms, a large recreation room, dining room and kitchen. A full basement contained a laundry, storage and a recreation/meeting room.

At this time, St. Anthony's Special C.C.D. classes were formed. A staff of dedicated volunteers under Mary Jane McGreevy, principal of this ministry, met weekly to teach religion to the handicapped. Fr. John Wenker, O.F.M. was the first moderator of this program that lasted for nineteen years.

During the succeeding years, the number of Sisters of St. Joseph gradually diminished to only three. It became evident that the most effective use of facilities would be to exchange the homes of the sisters and priests to establish a rectory/administration building. It continues to this day to serve this purpose.

At the end of the 1976 school year the sisters of St. Joseph retired from St. Anthony parish. In August three Sisters of the Resurrection arrived from the Chicago motherhouse to staff St. Anthony's school.

A parish survey taken in 1976 determined the needs and wants of the parishioners. Number one priority proved to be the construction of a new church building.

In June 1982, after 14 years as pastor of the parish and the implementer of the church building fund, Fr. Donulus, O.T.M. was transferred and Fr. Donard Paulus, O.F.M. was the appointed pastor.

During the summer of 1983, Fr. Donard spearheaded a successful building fund campaign. With the reserve built up by Fr. Donulus, the construction of the new church became a reality.

On August 5, 1984 ground was broken for the new church on the site of the former Reister home. A month later the parish celebrated its 25th anniversary with mass, parish reception and dinner-dance.

October 5, 1985 marked the culmination of the parish's goal. The first mass was celebrated in the new church. Twenty-six years of effort had seen the growth of the parish from several old buildings on a large, mostly undeveloped lot, to the raising of a new beautiful church to glorify God. In early May of 1986, Bishop Anthony M. Pilla dedicated the new church.

During the next several years following the completion of the church, emphasis was placed on the parish school. A "fair share" tuition program was instituted and a new lunch program began. The opening of the 1988 school year inaugurated an enlarged, rewired, and modernized state-of-the-art computer center and an after school care program was initiated.

In December Fr. Mike Ewert, O.F.M., was reassigned in the Franciscan community and Fr. Tom Aldworth, G.E.M., former associate, returned to assume the leadership of St. Anthony. That same year, the parish held an open forum to discuss parish interest and goals. In addition, after 30 years of sacrifice by the parishioners, the parish debt was paid.

Our pastor, Fr. Tom, O.F.M. became a published author. His books, titled "Shaping a Healthy Religion" and "Fashioning a Healthier Religion", were written from experiences at St. Anthony's parish 1978-81.

The Franciscans found it necessary to leave the parish and turned over its administration to priests from the Cleveland Diocese in June 1993. On Sunday, May 30, the parish celebrated a special liturgy to bid farewell to our friars from St. Anthony of Padua. A reception followed to share memories and bid God speed to our priests from the Franciscan Order that had served our parish so selflessly and with so much devotion over the years.

On Sunday, July 11 a liturgy and parish social welcomed our present pastor, Fr. Dale Staysniak and Fr. John Chelebo, associate pastor, as they assumed the pastoral care to the 3,400 families of the "parish on the hill."

In February 1994 we received the sad news that our first founding pastor, Fr. Jeremy Fischer, O.F.M. had passed away.

In August 1995, through the generosity of the Senior Citizen Group, the parish received the donation of the inspiring and harmonious electronic carillon bells. They arrived in time for the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the "new" church.


The first Mass was held in a private home in Bethel in 1880. Visiting priests from Windsor and White River Junction would conduct services, taking the mail train monthly to say early Mass in Bethel, and late Mass in Randolph.

With the discovery of white granite in the surrounding hills, and the advent of the railroads, Irish and Italian families moved into the area, and there became a need for a dedicated church in Bethel. The plan was to build a mission church to serve Bethel and the surrounding areas.

The church itself was built on land purchased for the Diocese by John Kelleher in 1903, during the tenure of Father James Pender (4/15/1903-7/21/1910), who was then the priest at Saints Donatian & Rogatian (now Our Lady of the Angels) in Randolph VT.

Father Michael O’Donnell (7/21/1910-9/1919), finished the preparations and construction of the church.
On December 1, 1913, the church was consecrated by then Bishop J.J. Rice, who confirmed 38 Candidates during the Mass.

Until 1950, St Anthony was a mission of Saints Donatian & Rogatian, Randolph, until the arrival of its first resident pastor, Rev. William D. Fox. The rectory at that time was to the left of the church, on the corner. In 1958, Mary Wynn gave the house next to the church to be used as the rectory.

During the 70’s to 2000, priests from St. Anthony also served Mass in Pittsfield and Killington.

On July 1, 2010 the name was changed to Our Lady of the Valley Parish, comprising St. Anthony and St. Elizabeth. One priest serves both parishes today, as has been the case for a number of years.

Crucifixion window over the altar: Donated by John Keleher and Family in memory of Peter and Mary Keleher.
The original Altar: Donated by Patrick P. Wynn and family

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