History of St. Anthony Church
By Glenn Rymsza
From 1909-1918 three railroad chapel-cars traversed the Northwest spreading the Catholic Faith by offering Mass, Confessions and Missions. St. Anthony Parish had its beginnings when one car (Chapel Car St. Peter) stopped below Kern Park Station in 1917. This was initiated by Fr. Charles Smith who would become our founding pastor.
On August 2, 1917, Archbishop Christie formed a new parish in a 150 square mile area of SE Portland and called it Our Lady of Sorrows Parish (cf. Map 1 Below). He appointed Fr. Charles Smith of the Cathedral to take charge of this new parish, which would eventually develop into three parishes: St. Anthony, Our Lady of Sorrows and Holy Family Parish (cf Catholic Sentinel, Aug. 2, 1917).
“Beautiful are human hopes if realized but ever more enchanting are the divine promises of the Prince of Peace" (Column by Msgr. Charles Smith of St. Patrick Parish in Portland - Dec. 19, 1918).
The first thing Fr. Smith set out to do was to acquire a “ground floor hall” on the corner of SE Woodstock and 57th (cf. #1 on Map 1 Below) to be used as a temporary chapel for Our Lady of Sorrows. He began to say Mass on Sundays at 9am, starting on the Feast of the Assumption, Aug 15, 1917 (cf Catholic Sentinel, Aug. 2 & 16, 1917). By Aug 30, 1917 there were 140 people attending the Mass.
Soon after, Fr. Smith acquired the use of a chapel car named St. Peter, belonging to the Catholic Extension Society. On Sunday, Sept 9, 1917, he used the chapel car from which to conduct a week-long, evening mission just east of his “Our Lady of Sorrows” Parish boundaries (cf. #2 on Map 1 Below). He parked the car on the Mt. Scott carline on SE Foster Rd. and 70th St. (cf Catholic Sentinel, Sept 6, 1917). This is next to Mt. Scott Fuel today.
St. Anthony traces its roots back to this Chapel Car Mission and what followed. Fr. Smith had done other missions from chapel cars and from 1911-1918 he had been instrumental in founding seven churches/chapels in the archdiocese (cf Catholic Sentinel, June 20, 1918).
In late September, 1917, three Catechism Centers/Chapels were established within this area to meet the spiritual needs of the people and the educational needs of 140 children under the age of 15: One in the storefront on 57th and Woodstock, one in the Chapel Car and one in a small community hall in Berkeley. Mass was provided at these chapels, as well as talks and social events. In October, 1917, there were 200 families in this region of many nationalities: French, Austrians, Italians, Slavonians, Hungarians, etc. By April 4, 1918, there were 200 pupils being catechized by 12 volunteer women who came from many parts of the city. The details of what happened at these 3 chapels and what followed is laid out in the map below.
Our Lady of Sorrows Parish--Develops into 3 Churches
Map 1: Use the tabs below the map to track the stages of development (the small crosses represent the exact location of each site).
Click on each stage to learn the progression of events
The first temporary chapel in this area was established by renting and furnishing a ground floor hall located at 57th street and Woodstock avenue (cf Sentinel, Aug 16, 1917). This building today is called The Floor Store. Fr. Smith celebrated Mass here every Sunday at 9am.
The First Church–Sept 8, 1918
The first church on 7022 SE Holgate was dedicated on Sept 8, 1918 while Fr. George Fallu was pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish. This was during World War I and St. Anthony had 8 men in the Army and 1 in the Navy. One of these men was Corporal William R. Moriarity. While he was still overseas, the first wedding to take place in the new chapel was celebrated January 16, 1919 between his sister, Catherine Moriarity and Charles Fix of Pendleton. Sadly, the next day, 18 month old Lucille Evelyn Almeter, was buried after dying from the effects of a serum given her for stomach trouble. On January 20, 1919, Dorothy Lesmeister (German and Dutch), age 17, was buried after dying from Pneumonia (cf Catholic Sentinel, Jan 23, 1919), caused by influenza (most likely the Spanish Flu). On February 26-27, 1919 the first annual benefit Bazaar for St. Anthony’s Chapel was held at the Woodmen’s Hall, near 66th street and Foster Road. The feature of the first night was a dinner prepared by Mr. G Noras, a former cook of the Portland Hotel and his wife (cf Catholic Sentinel, March 6, 1919). The parish grew so quickly that in March 1922, the Most Rev. Archbishop Christie formally made it a parish and assigned the Rev. G. M. Sniderhon as the Pastor (cf Catholic Sentinel, Sept 25, 1924). The first Baptism recorded for the new St. Anthony Parish was of Eileen Catherine Kijanka on May 7, 1922. Both her parents were immigrants from Poland. 18 total Baptisms were performed in this first church after we became an official parish.
The Second Church–Sept 16, 1923
To meet the needs of the parish, a larger church was built under Rev. Sniderhon’s direction. When this was built and dedicated on Sept 16, 1923, the former church became a rectory. The first wedding on our books took place in this Second Church on February 21, 1924 between WWI Veteran Angelo Lewis Endrizzi and Jeanette V. Rogers. Jeanette’s older brother, Sheridan James Rogers, was one of the 8 parishioners in the Army in WWI. The church was a stucco building of 38×64 feet and cost $7,500 to construct. It was modern and featured a fire and burglar-proof tabernacle. The interior had a statue of the Blessed Virgin, another statue of St. Joseph and a Murillo painting of St. Anthony. The statues, holy water fonts, pictures, candle-sticks and vestments were donated by members of the parish (cf Catholic Sentinel, Sept 25, 1924).
The following painting of St. Anthony and the child Jesus hung on the back wall of the sanctuary.
St. Anthony's First two Church Buildings
The First Church on the right became a rectory when the Church on the left was built. The Second Church is a Christian Deaf Church today (2020) and the 1st Church a home. The older photo was most likely taken in the 1920’s.
Gabriel and Bertha Riehl were members of the parish in the early 1920’s. In 1925, they moved across the street from the Church and lived there the rest of their lives. They donated to the church the sanctuary lamp to the left. When our Church was sold in 1955, this sanctuary lamp was given back to the family. They donated other things to the parish, including a new pedestal for the Sacred Heart Statue. Bertha was the Secretary-Treasurer of the Altar Society in 1924. Later, she would serve as the Vice-President for a few years. All of the Riehl’s 6 children were married at St. Anthony between the years 1935-1959. In May of 1924, Most Rev. Archbishop Christie visited the parish and was pleased with its progress. He also was invited to view the parish house which was formerly the chapel. A member of the parish, Joseph (probably Gabriel) Riehl, donated his time to convert the former chapel into a dwelling with five rooms. Soon after, a card party was hosted therein (cf CS, 5/15/1924). In the mid 1920’s Fr. Sniderhon would conduct Catechism classes on Saturday mornings for the kids who attended public schools (cf CS, 9/25/1924). St. Therese of Lisieux was a Carmelite Nun who died at the age of 24 and was canonized in 1925. By 1926 there already had been many prayers answered by St. Therese in our parish. In gratitude, an anonymous donor bought the parish a beautiful life-sized statue of St. Therese (cf CS, 7/22/1926). Then, tragedy struck in February of 1927 when Doraline Riehl, daughter of Gabriel and Bertha died of blood disease at the age of 11. She was attending St. Ignatius School and in 4th Grade. Six of her classmates served as pallbearers. After serving as St. Anthony’s first pastor, Fr. Sniderhon was transferred in August of 1927 to St. Mary’s in Shaw, Oregon. Then, Fr. Charles Smith came back to became the Pastor of St. Anthony. During the rest of the 1920’s the parish sponsored a number of Card parties. Throughout the 1920’s, the parish had an average of 15 baptisms per year.
The Great Depression–Oct 29, 1929–1939
On October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday hit Wall Street as investors traded some 16 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors. In the aftermath of Black Tuesday, America and the rest of the industrialized world spiraled downward into the Great Depression (1929-39), the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world up to that time. In the beginning of 1929 Pope Pius XI proclaimed a Jubilee Year in honor of the 50th Anniversary of his Priesthood. Anyone in a given diocese who met the following 4 criteria would receive a plenary indulgence: 1). Visit three churches designated by the bishop two times. 2). Practice fasting and abstinence on two separate days. 3). Go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation 4). Give alms toward some pious work.In the Archdiocese of Portland, the 3 designated parishes were the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, St. Joseph’s, and St. Michael’s. However, those who wanted to make a procession under the guidance of their pastor were obliged to make but one visit to 2 churches that didn’t have to be on the designated list: their own parish and a nearby church (CS, 3/8/1929). The Catholic Sentinel recounts that St. Peter’s Parish made a procession to St. Anthony’s church on Sunday the 29th, 1929 at 2:30 in order to gain the jubilee plenary indulgence (CS, 12/19/1929).
St. Anthony Parish Pastors
Click on each priest below to reveal a photo and more information.
Fr. Smith was born in Chicago on Oct 5, 1877 and he was ordained to the priesthood in Portland by Archbishop Christie at the old cathedral on NW 15th Ave. and Davis St. in 1910. He was appointed pastor of the whole area of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish and paved the way for 3 new parishes in SE Portland.
Fr. Fallu was born in 1888 and ordained in 1915. He was appointed pastor of the whole area of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish after Fr. Smith. When St. Anthony became a parish, he continued to be the pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows until his death in 1940 at the age of 51.
Fr. Sniderhon was born in 1886, in Cayuga, Ontario, Canada and ordained in 1912. He was appointed pastor when St. Anthony officially took on Parish status. Under his direction a 2nd church was built. He was also known for hearing confessions in German at St. Peter’s during Lent. He was also made pastor of Holy Family Parish in 1931 when it took on Parish status. After pastoring several parishes, he served as a chaplain at various hospitals until his death in 1969 at the age of 82.
Fr. Smith came back to serve as pastor of St. Anthony. When he left, the Jesuit Fathers filled in until the next pastor, Fr. Sander was assigned to the parish. Fr. Smith was named a Monsignor by the Pope in 1953. He started serving as the executive secretary of the Catholic Truth Society of Oregon in 1922 and as the managing editor of the Catholic Sentinel in 1928. He served in both these capacities until his death at the age of 80 in 1958.
Fr. Sander was born in 1895 and ordained in 1918. He was appointed pastor of St. Anthony’s parish Portland at the same time he was attached to the Catholic Truth Society-Sentinel staff.
Fr. Neelon was born in 1889 in Chicago and was ordained in 1914. For over 14 years he was pastor at Seaside, then at Corvallis. While at St. Anthony, he was the Catholic Rosaria Club’s Spiritual Advisor. After, he was transferred to St. Agnes’ Baby Home on 9/19/1935. He served as chaplain at Christie School at Marylhurst in 1954 until his retirement in April of 1967. He died in 1968 at the age of 79.
Fr. Greene was born in 1900 in Providence, Rhode Island and ordained in 1924. He arrived from Rhode Island in 1935 and served right away at St. Anthony for 1-3 months. He then went to St. Helen’s and swapped places with Fr. Clancy–who left St. Helen’s for St. Anthony. Father Greene served in various parishes in this archdiocese, finishing up in Seaside and Coos Bay. In 1954, he went into retirement because of ill health. He died in 1955 at the age of 55.
Fr. Clancy was born in 1891 and ordained in 1913. He was the pastor of St. Anthony during World War II. Before this, he started the Newman Club at OSU in 1916. He served as a chaplain in World War I from 1918-1919. As chaplain, he accompanied troops back and forth to Europe on the transports. While at St. Anthony, he was often seen leaving the rectory wearing a Roman collar, his Legionnaire’s hat, and smoking a big cigar. He liked to go hunting and his rectory showed the fruits of his success in this hobby. He died on Jan 31, 1946 at the age of 54.
Fr. Reedy was born in 1908 and ordained in 1935. He was only at St. Anthony for 3 months. While there he started a CYO group in April. He was an army chaplain from 1940 to 1946. He returned to parish work in 1946 as pastor of St. Mary Parish in Corvallis until 1950, and then as pastor of St. Vincent Parish in Salem from 1950 to 1979, the year he retired. He died in 2008 after living to the ripe age of 100.
Fr. Sander returned to St. Anthony as Pastor in 1946. He served in various capacities in connection with the Knights of Columbus and became State Chaplain of that organization. Father Sander did the important initial work of obtaining the property on which the buildings of St. Anthony Parish now stand on 79th. He died in 1955 at the age of 60.
Fr. Hamsmith was born in Dubuque County, Iowa in 1910 and ordained in 1938. He first served as assistant at Immaculate Heart. From 1943-48 he was chaplain at St. Mary’s Academy and assistant director of Catholic Charities. Through Catholic Charities he headed the Catholic Youth Organization program until 1958. He was at St. Anthony from 1951-54. From 1954-67 he was the pastor of the Downtown Chapel. He suffered a heart attack in 1967 and died unexpectedly in 1969 at the age of 58.
Fr. Linahen was the pastor when the school began. Fr. Linahen was born in Montreal, Canada in 1910 and ordained in Rome in 1933. He studied theology at the North American College in Rome and made further studies at Catholic University of America. His first appointment as pastor was in 1942, at Our Lady of the Lake Parish. He served at St. Anthony, St. Francis, and other parishes and as a chaplain in a number of hospitals. He was serving at St. Paul Parish in Eugene at the time of his death. He died unexpectedly on a cruise ship on vacation in Alaska in 1968 at the age of 58.
Fr. Carroll was born in 1910. He served as an Xaveran teaching Brother for 18 years before doing seminary studies from 1946-1950. He taught at various secondary schools out East. He was ordained in Boston on May 3, 1950. Fr. Carroll taught English, French and religion classes at Central Catholic high school from 1950 to the spring of 1957. In August, 1957, he became assistant at St. Anthony and became administrator in 1958. He died after a long illness in 1966 at the age of 55.
Fr. Domin was born in 1922, ordained in 1950 and served as Pastor of St. Anthony for only 4 months. During the 1950s and ’60s he taught fine arts and creativity classes at Central Catholic High School. He was chairman of the sacred arts commission for the Archdiocese of Portland from 1958 to 1988. He engaged in the design process and remodeling of more than 100 churches and chapels throughout the archdiocese. He was pastor of St. Monica Parish in Coos Bay and the founding pastor of the Church of the Resurrection. He was chaplain at Maryville for almost 18 years, beginning in 1989. He died in 2017 at the age of 94.
Fr. Stipe was born in 1910. He served as an Episcopal chaplain in the Army during World War II. He became an Episcopalian Priest in 1951 and was recalled to active duty in 1953 for chaplain service in Korea. He became Catholic in 1955, joined the Seminary and was ordained a Catholic Priest in 1961. After his service at St. Anthony, he served as chaplain at the Oregon Correctional Institution in Salem from 1968-75. He died in 1998 at the age of 88.
Fr. Park was born in 1925 and ordained in 1952. As a new priest in 1956, Msgr. Park was appointed leader of Catholic Charities in Portland. He created an agency to welcome people escaping tribulation in other lands. The organization would help people from places like Cuba, Vietnam, Kosovo and Somalia. Park has hero status in the agency. He was honored with the title of Monseigneur. He died in 2009 at the age of 84.
Fr. Whalen was born in 1913 and ordained in 1940. He spent 21 years at Central Catholic High School, where he taught American history, English and religion 1940-51 and was principal 1951-61. He had been serving for 12 years as chaplain at Maryville Nursing Home at the time of his death. He served the archdiocese for more than 50 years. In 1990, Archbishop William Levada said, “He presented a fine example to Catholic young men . . . and was willing to take on difficult assignments in the archdiocese involving situations that needed special attention. That is a tribute to him.” He died in 1992 at the age of 78.
Fr. Curtin was born in 1921, son of Irish Immigrants and was ordained in 1947. In 1952 Father Curtin became the first assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Corvalis, where he also served as chaplain to Catholic students attending Oregon State University–until 1956. He served as pastor of St. Anthony for 14 years. On June 7. 1984, Father Curtin, 63, was found dead of a heart attack in the parish house by Bishop Waldschmidt, who had come to St. Anthony’s for dinner and an evening confirmation ceremony.
Father Alvares was born in 1922, in Goa, India and ordained in 1950. He helped found two schools and was appointed as the musical director of the Cathedral in Bombay (Mumbai). In 1970, he was assigned to the Diocese of Portland, Oregon, where he served for more than 20 years, in Portland, Salem, and Sweet Home. He was the first priest from India to offer his services in Oregon. He died in 2011 at the age of 89.
Fr. Maslowsky was born in 1948 and was ordained in 1987. Before this, he had dabbled in politics, and had a promising legal career in Portland. After ordination, he served 2 years and then studied in Rome for 3 years. In 1992 he became the director of ministry formation for the archdiocese and started the Archdiocesan Ministry Certificate Program in 1995. At St. Anthony, he renovated the existing basement church in 1995. In 1998/99 he spearheaded the transformation of our 5 acre property into St. Anthony Village and a new church, hall and child development center. Fr. Mike was also a college professor and a print, radio and TV commentator. After St. Anthony, he continued to develop senior housing. He was laicized on June 4, 2018.
Father James Mayo was born in 1947 in Quitman, Miss. and ordained in 1976. He has served at the Madeleine Parish, St. Alice, Holy Family, Holy Trinity, St. Cecilia, St. Sharbel, St. James, St. Anne’s, Church of the Resurrection, St. Michael in Sandy, St. Patrick and then St. Anthony for 2 years. After St. Anthony he finished up at St. Michael in Portland.
Fr. Donoghue is our current Pastor. He is dedicated to the parishioners and often works until the wee hours at the office. He is also known for his love for hiking, biking, gardening and recycling.
During the 1930’s three grocery stores on Foster Road owned by parishioners contributed food to Easter Spring luncheons. There were two Hanna brothers who each had a store. Joe Hanna had a grocery on 6360 SE Foster. Now it’s the Bread and Roses Market. The Parish had 5 pastors in the 1930’s. Father Louis Sander served from 1932-1934 and would return to the parish 10 years later. At that time, there was a young adult group in the parish called The Catholic Rosarian Club. They held meetings The proceeds for the dance went towards the Catholic Rosarian Baseball Team. Ferdinand Riehl, son of Gabriel and Bertha was the president of the group at the time (cf CS, 5/10/1934). After Fr. Sander, Father Neelon served from 1934-1935. While at St. Anthony, he was the Catholic Rosarian Club’s spiritual advisor. After, he was transferred to St. Agnes’ Baby Home. In 1935, Fr. Greene arrived from Rhode Island and served right away as Pastor at St. Anthony for 1-3 months. He then went to St. Helen’s and swapped places with Fr. Joseph Clancy–who left St. Helen’s for St. Anthony. Father Clancy became pastor on Dec 15, 1935. He then remained pastor during the war years. He himself had been a Chaplain in WWI and spent a year accompanying the troops on ships across the Atlantic. When Fr. Clancy was ordained in 1913 he needed a special dispensation because he was less than 23 years old. After his 8th grade year he studied at Gonzaga for 3 years, Columbia University in Portland for 2 years, and St. Patrick’s in Menlo Park for 3 years where he was ordained to minor orders. On Aug 9 and 10 of 1938, Fr Clancy celebrated his 25th anniversary of the priesthood with various events. The celebration began with a 6:30pm Dinner with Monsignor Arthur Lane, P. A.. L.L.D. as the speaker. Mayor Joseph K. Carson was present. Besides Msgr. Lane, other speakers were Ralph Drone, head chemist of the paper mill at St. Helens; Oscar Bortzmeyer of the Juvenile Court; W. J. Chamberlain, past State Commander of the Legion and Roth Ward of the Legion. Father Stanley Cregon presided. The following day, Archbishop Howard was present for the Mass and the priests went to the Heathman Hotel for dinner with speakers (cf CS, 8/4/1938).
When World War II began in 1941/42 the parish did its part to support the war effort. In January of 1942 every family in the parish was asked to bring books to be given to our forces in the field. St. Anthony was designated as a First Aid Post and on Tuesday nights First Aid Classes were taught by the Red Cross to our parish and non-Catholic neighbors (Catholic Sentinel, 1/22 and 2/26/1942). On Thursday nights, the southwest company of the Veterans’ Air Raid Patrol met for drill. In Feb 1942, the girls of St. Anthony’s entertained the boys of the Air Base and those of the 29th Engineers at a dancing party in the parish hall. An orchestra from St. Philip Neri’s Parish played the music (CS, 2/12/1942). In April, St. Anthony held their Italian Spaghetti Dinner which cost $.25 for admission. The dinner included cards and prizes (CS, 4/16/1942). On Sunday, Oct. 4, 1942 the parish celebrated its silver jubilee. The silver jubilee of our mother church, Our Lady of Sorrows’ parish took place six weeks earlier. At our silver jubilee Mass, Father Clancy presided and a number of our former pastors took part in the following roles: Deacon, Rev. George Sniderhon, Subdeacon, Rev. Louis Sander master of ceremonies, Rev. Cornelius Shea. The Sermon was preached by Rev. Charles M. Smith, founder of our parish (CS, 9/17/1942).By Oct. 1942, St. Anthony of Padua already had 42 boys in the service. Devotions in honor of St. Anthony were held every Tuesday night, including special prayers to our Lady for our boys. On Sunday mornings, the Sisters from St. Stephen’s taught Catechism Classes for public school children (CS, 10/01/1942). The War had an impact on our 1942 Christmas Celebration. During the first two Christmas Masses the church had to be in comparative blackout in accord with the rules of the 9th Corps Area. Only candles and small lights illuminated the Holy Sacrifice (CS, 12/17/1942). At the start of 1943, there were 28 altar boys and 18 girls singing in the choir (CS, 2/11/1943). Fr. Clancy would take the Altar Boys every year to the Vaughn Street Ball Park (NW 24th and Vaughn) to watch a baseball game. Often called “Lucky Beavers Stadium,” this was the home of Portland’s Minor League Baseball team (Portland Beavers) from 1901-1956.The first bad news on the war front in 1943 was that Private Robert W. Abbott had been declared missing in action since February 17 in Tunisia. He was a part of the first troops to make the North African invasion. The whole parish sympathized with Mrs. Abbott who was a World War I nurse and whose husband died on Feb 6, 1942 as a result of World War I wounds (CS, 4/15/1943). It was found out later that Robert was in a German prisoner of war camp. After almost 2 years in the camp he was liberated in a prisoner exchange and sent to a hospital in Denver, CO. He died 18 months later on July 19, 1946. His funeral was at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish. In May 1943, a Service Flag was made for our parish by the Sisters of the Precious Blood (This convent is currently the location of St. Andrew’s Memory Care– 7617 SE Main St.) Service flags were a regular sight in the windows of homes of the parents of those away at war. They were usually white, with a red outer border and had blue stars that represented each person serving in the war. Blue stars were changed out to gold when word arrived of the death of one of those serving. Our parish service flag had blue stars for our 73 boys from St. Anthony’s in the service (CS, 5/06/1943). In the Spring of 1943, St. Anthony’s new Boy Scout troop, No. 77, went on a camping trip at Mt. Hood National forest on Lake Eena (Now Enid Lake, just North of Hwy 26 near Ski Bowl), which was just secured from the government. They spent the night in 3 feet of snow and met with the U.S. forest ranger in the morning, who helped them determine the area that they would be able to define as St. Anthony’s Lake Camp (CS, 5/20/1943). They went back two months later and built a temporary altar for daily Mass and a raft from which to swim and fish. During this time, the Altar society hosted popular luncheons and card parties on Thursdays at 12:30pm. In Sept of 1943 Father Joseph P. Clancy and George Rauch, attorney and Boy Scout leader started a group called the Boy Commandos, which had the backing of the army, the navy, and the Boy Scouts. This group was “organized to provide semi-military training for pre-induction age youths and at the same time combat increasing juvenile delinquency. They hope to expand the membership from 42 to 1000 or more. Training will be given in obstacle courses, first aid and life-saving, signaling, elementary navigation and compass work, skiing and horsemanship” (Catholic Sentinel, Sept 2, 1943). The name “Boy Commandos” might have been based on the Comic with the same name that came out in June of 1942. The comic depicted a boy gang who fought the Ratzies (a pseudonym for Nazis). In November, Life Magazine came out to take photos of 100 marching Commandos in the streets around the church (CS, 11/18/1943). On November 4, 27 year old A.A.F. pilot Second Lieutenant M. (Jack) Morgan was killed in a mid-air collision when his P-40K Warhawk struck another P-40 over Mokalbari, India (cf ancestry.com). Jack Morgan’s wife baptized their daughter three weeks after her Father’s death. In November, Sgt. John Joseph Smith was declared missing in action when the B-17 bomber on which he was serving as the right waist gunner went down in Tilburg, Holland. His family was notified two years later on Aug 17, 1945 that he was declared dead. On a positive note, various servicemen came home for the holidays and spent time with family and friends. The Catholic Sentinel reported: “Home from Africa and Sicily is Corp. Bob Wilson, spending his furlough with his parents. Also home, from the Pacific fleet, is Dale Riehl” (CS, 12/09/1943). Dale’s parents, Nicholas and Clara, lived close to the parish and had 6 sons. 5 out of the 6 went to war (the youngest was too young to serve). Three were in the Navy and 2 were in the Army. All of Nicholas and Clara’s children were Confirmed at St. Anthony. April 1944 witnessed some changes to St. Anthony’s Parish Hall: It was redecorated in white and French green, with matching crimson and ivory drapes, ready for the next luncheon (CS, 4/06/1944). Some renovations were done in April to the back lots of the parish by the Holy name men of the parish. They built a tennis and basketball court for the children of the neighborhood (CS, 4/20/1944). The September Hot lunch featured the card game bridge, “500” with a 35 Cent admission (9/07/1944). Archbishop Howard paid us a visit in November to Confirm 40 of our students at a Mass sung by the adult choir under the direction of Margaret Tacchella. Margaret eventually married Carl Fite and was the president of the Altar Society for a number of years in the 1970’s. At this time, the parish also had a 35 member girl choir under the direction of Mrs. Ted McInnis. The Men of the Holy Name Society sponsored a Thanksgiving Turkey Card Party and raised enough money to buy $500 worth of war bonds and distribute the rest to other worthy causes: Catholic Literature for the Parish, the Boy Scout Troop and the Holy Name Fund (CS, 12/14/1944). The Christmas Season of 1944 brought us news of our serviceman. As the Catholic Sentinel detailed: “Happily welcomed to our homes and hearts during the holidays were First Lt. Gerard Heard (25 years old), from 50 bombing missions out of Italy; Cpl. Carl Brumbaugh (26 years old), wounded at Attu, home from China; Chief Electrician’s Mate Louis Michaud (23 years old), U.S.N., torpedoed in the Philippines; Steward Francis McDonnell (25 years old), M.M., who just rode a cargo of explosives to the Carolines; Cpl. Joe Gaggero (25 years old), from two years in Iceland; S/St. Mickey McDonald of the marines, wounded in the islands; Bill Van der Berg, U. S. Coast Guard, back to sea; Billy Mascott, U.S.N., back to Pacific; Cpl. Miller Limbach (34 years old) of the tank corps…. Most of these boys are former altar boys. It is hoped they will come home soon again—to stay” (CS, 1/18/1945). When the war in Europe ended on May 8 (V-E Day) the nation celebrated!! The following Sunday we had an exceptional group of parishioners at our exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all afternoon (CS, 5/17/1945). At the end of the month, St. Anthony collected 390 pounds of clothing for the United Nations Clothing Drive for War Victims (CS, 5/31/1945). The War against Japan finally ended on August 14, 1945!! The Catholic Sentinel at that time commented that the war had begun on Dec 7, the Eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the war ended on August 14, the Eve of another Feast of Mary–the Assumption of Mary (CS, 08/23/1945).
In the early 1950’s there was a parishioner named Rathgaber who was in Real Estate. He saw a large property open up on SE 79th Ave. As told by long-time parishioners, Gene and Florence DiLoretto, the owner did not want to sell the property to the Church, so, Mr. Rathgaber bought it and sold it to St. Anthony.
Above: Team Members and Clergy on the occasion of Opening Ceremonies of the parish building fund campaign at St. Anthony on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1953.
In 1953, the need for expansion, led to a Building Fund Campaign to raise money for a new church, an auditorium and Catholic grade school on the newly purchased property on SE 79th Ave. Click here to see the 1953 Campaign booklet.
A wing of the former All Saints Grade School that was moved
to our St. Anthony property in 1955.
Instead of the proposed elaborate plan, in 1955, the old All Saints School was purchased for $1 and moved to the site in two pieces (wish we had a picture of that move!!). The building that was moved was originally constructed in 1937 and consisted of four classrooms, two music rooms, office space and a washroom. St.Anthony Parish relocated here. The upstairs was used for classes and a basement was created as the worship space for Masses.
The Altar in the Second Church (most likely in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s). The wooden paneling behind the altar and the altar were moved to the third church in the basement, until Fr. Maslowsky’s Renovation. The wood paneling is in our current (Post 1999) parish hall.
On Sept 3, 1957 St. Anthony School opened with Fifty-Nine 6-8th Graders, taught by 2 Benedictine Sisters. 24 sixth graders were taught by Sr. John Mary, 23 seventh graders and 12 eighth graders were taught by Sr. Adele, who was Sister Superior. In 1958, there were 12 students in the first graduating class.(To the left, Sr. John Mary checks the globe with Larry Gayton, Jim Biancone, and Lana Gayton. Picture is taken in second grade Saturday School classroom.)
Two more Benedictine Sisters, two Holy Name Sisters and two Lay women also helped to teach Catechism classes to 200 children on the weekends. (To the right is the second grade Catechism class).
In 1958, the parish initiated a fund drive for the purpose of liquidating $75,000 in debt so that we could then build for the future. The parish was hoping to get into a position where we could enlarge the school and “do something concrete in regard to the already overcrowded church” (Fund Drive Pamphlet). Click here to see the Fund Drive Pamphlet.
In 1959, a hall was built for the parish. It was named after Robert Murphy, a 15 year old Catholic Central Student and member of St. Anthony who gave his life to save the life of a young boy from drowning in 1954.Catholic Central High School established a Memorial Fund in Murphy’s honor with a two-fold purpose. First, there would be a plaque, on which will be placed the name of a member of the Sophomore class who has shown outstanding service to the school.Second, there would be a scholarship granted yearly to a deserving student.
In 1960 a convent was constructed and 6 Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary moved in and began to teach Grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 in the school.
8th Grade Class with Sr. M. Adele (1st Principle) and Fr. James Carroll
Evolution of Parish Facilities
Click on each tab below to reveal maps of our parish grounds in their different stages of development