During the mid-1990’s, I became acquainted with St. Anthony’s. I was living in an apartment next to Spanky’s on 52 Street. St. Anthony’s was within walking distance and I would occasionally attend Mass there when I would not be able to attend Mass at the parish where I was a registered member.
Fast forward to mid-2014. I had just returned home from Afghanistan, where I’d spent the better part of three years. My wife had quit attending the parish where we had been married and refused to attend Mass with me. I felt I could no longer attend services at that parish either; just too many emotional triggers. So, I returned to St. Anthony of Padua for Sunday Mass while I was home on leave.
When I retired from the Army in late 2015, I began to regularly attend Mass and other services at St.Anthony’s. Once again, I found the church to be beautiful. But more than that, the gospels, the epistles, and other readings spoke to me, like I was the only one there, as if they were particularly meant for me. The homilies I felt were directed to me as if there was nobody else in attendance. They really resonated within my being and addressed my distressful situation.
Additionally, people of the congregation welcomed me and made me feel that I belonged there. Some of these were people I’d never met before. Absolutely amazing! Indeed, I have found a church home and a parish family. I became a registered parishioner in early 2016. Since then I have become an active member of this very special Catholic parish. I love attending church here.
If you have been away from St. Anthony’s or any church for that matter, I invite you to come experience what I have experienced here.