St. Anthony of Padua Church
   
Parish History


In 1892, Rev. John Santoro was given permission to organize the twenty-three Italian families living in Troy into a National Parish of St. Anthony of Padua. This small Italian community was permitted to celebrate Mass in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Third Street. Since this arrangement did not facilitate the need for other sacraments, such as baptism and reconciliation, a small structure was obtained on Ferry Street, southwest of Fifth Avenue, and converted into the first St. Anthony of Padua Church. Many of the names of these first parishioners are still represented in the parish today.

Due to large emigration and rapid growth at the turn of the century, the parish was in need of a larger worship space. Luckily, a structure was available at the corner of Fourth and State Street; a church built by the Unitarian Society in 1876. The structure was purchased by the parish in 1905, renovated and dedicated on May 26, 1907 by Rt. Rev. T.M.A. Burke, Bishop of Albany.

Between 1957-65, continued growth of the parish led to the acquisition of land on Fourth Street for a new school and rectory, the first new buildings to be constructed in the parish’s sixty-year history. Soon a parish hall and gymnasium, dedicated to Pastor, Rev. Thomas DeLuca, OFM, would follow. The parish hall would soon be used for a temporary church until a new worship site could be built.

The old church was demolished as plans developed for the current church to be built. On July 25, 1963, a plot of land was purchased from the City of Troy adjacent to Barker Park on State Street. A ground breaking ceremony for the new structure took place on May 27, 1964. Joined by many city and county officials, parishioners and friends, Rt. Rev. Monsignor William N. Hunt, representing his Excellency the Bishop and Very Rev. Matthew M. DeBenedictis, OFM, Provincial of the Province of the Immaculate Conception conducted the ceremony. The current church, with seating for four hundred, was formally blessed on May 15, 1965 by his Excellency, the Most Reverend William A. Scully, D.D., Bishop of Albany. Rev. Thomas DeLuca, OFM, Pastor, celebrated the Dedication Mass.

The parish enjoys a long and cherished history with the Franciscans Friars-The Order of Friars Minor. Father Lawrence Fantino was in service as pastor from 1923-1925, when the Ordinary of the Diocese of Albany, Most Rev, Edmund F. Gibbons offered the parish to the care of the Franciscans of the Commissary of the Immaculate Conception in New York. The first Franciscan assigned was Rev. Thomas Belli, OFM in 1926. In 2016, the parish welcomed its newest Franciscan Pastor, Fr. Francis Walter, OFM.

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