Saturday, September 13, 2008
St. Anthony of Padua parish will celebrate the church’s 75tn anniversary at the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday. The church is at 83 Mosser Place in North Hill just west of N. Main Street.
In 1931, the Rev. Salvatore Marino was appointed pastor to oversee the building of an Italian parish in Akron. Father Marino had been educated at The Catholic University at Palermo and in Rome, Italy. He had always had a dream of building a church. These inspirations of Father Marino, combined with the talent of the builder, Mr. Sam De Maio, created the beautiful St. Anthony of Padua Church.
In the beginning, a basement chapel was built to hold services until the church was completed. The construction of the church took seven years of toil and love during the depression years before its completion. Many men of the North Hill area were out of work and they devoted their time and labor in building the exterior of the church. Every day at noon the men were served a big hot meal cooked by their wives. The food was donated by the families of the church. The women gathered the food by walking all over North Hill with their children's red wagons.
The material to build the church was obtained by Father Marino from many and often distant sources. The beautiful interior of the church, with the exception of the roof and the ceilings of the sacristies and the vestibule, is entirely of marble. The marble and colored glass form many different and beautiful mosaics. Fifteen to twenty different kinds of marble were used in the designs. The different kinds of marble include Cremona, Spanish, Portuguese, French, African, Rosa, Verona, Sienna, Pavenaccio and Botticino.
The church was dedicated and the altar consecrated on November 17, 1940 by Bishop James A. McFadden. In October 1943, a fund-raising drive commenced to pay off the church mortgage. The drive concluded on April 20, 1944.
Father Marino died November 11, 1943 at the age of 59, following a short illness. Archbishop Edward F. Hoban appointed Rev. Angelo J. Trivisonno as the new pastor. St. Anthony grew and prospered under the direction of Father Angelo. A school was built in 1954 and a convent was built to house the Religious Teachers Filippini in 1958.
The title of Monsignor was conferred upon Father Angelo Trivisonno on March 10, 1960. Monsignor Trivisonno was Pastor for 30 years until his retirement on May 28, 1974.
The Rev. James V. Ragnoni was appointed to succeed Monsignor Trivisonno as Pastor of Saint Anthony in 1974. Father Jim had been an Associate Pastor at St. Anthony from 1960 to 1965. During his years at St. Anthony, Father Jim completed paying off the school mortgage. His emphasis turned toward building a gym for the school and parish. A committee was formed, and within six months a Community Center was built. Due to the generosity of parishioners and friends of St. Anthony, the gym was paid in full the day it was completed, June 13, 1990.
St. Anthony Community Center is used by the CYO for basketball and volleyball. During the course of one year, 1,500 children play basketball or volleyball in the Community Center gym. The center is used on Sunday evenings for high school and men's basketball teams.
The first Baptism in St. Anthony was that of Guglielmus Lpopez on September 3, 1931,
and the first marriage was between Lawrence Veseriat and Dorothy Miller on October 3, 1951.
[A story about the anniversary by Beacon Journal religion writer Collette Jenkins on page B2 of the newspaper on Saturday, but historical information for this article is from the church website.
.Click on the headline to go to the parish website.