Fernando Martins 0

To Preserve the Franciscans, Culture, and Traditions of St. Anthony of Padua Parish

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Please Read the following in its entirety and consider signing in support of our Parish concerns:


On April 24th, 2022 – Divine Mercy Sunday – it was announced that as of July 2022, the Conventual Franciscans of St. Bonaventure Province will no longer be staffing St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Rockford, IL and that the Diocese of Rockford would be assigning a diocesan priest.

The announcement came as a shock to the entire parish community, followed by immediate sadness. The Franciscans have staffed the parish for nearly 90 years, and have been rooted in the rich Italian culture and traditions that St. Anthony’s was founded upon. With the Franciscans leaving, many are left wondering if these traditions will continue.

Why Sign?

We, as the Concerned Parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua Church, are asking for signatures on this petition only to let it be known how saddened we are about the Franciscan Friars not being a part of our beloved St. Anthony’s Parish after being such an intricate staple of our Church, as well as the following items of concern:

Items of Concern:

  • We would like it known there were other options proposed to the diocese that would have allowed the Franciscans Friars to stay at St Anthony's. We would have supported these options (for example having the Polish Province Franciscans staff our Parish).
  • There is $3 million dollars that was donated specifically to St. Anthony's - which may have influenced the decision to staff it with a diocesan priest.
  • There are many traditions we feel that might be lost or abandoned with this transition - including:
    • The original St. Joseph Altar
    • The Feast of St. Anthony of Padua celebrated with Mass and the distribution of blessed bread
    • Celebration of the Columbus Day / Hall of Fame Mass in association with the Greater Rockford Italian American Association (GRIAA)
    • Adoring St. Anthony's Church with our traditional Christmas and Easter season decorations.
    • The in-progress St. Anthony of Padua museum and archives that will preserve our Parish chronology and historical artifacts.
    • The Feast of St. Lucia celebrated with Mass and the distribution of the blessed cuccia.
    • The risk of dismantling the St. Anthony of Padua Holy Name Society
  • The restriction of using Parish or Diocesan funds to support a Farewell celebration for nearly 90 Years of Franciscan Friars service at St. Anthony of Padua Parish

Please consider signing and thank you for supporting our Parish!

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