History of St. Anthony Parish School
St. Anthony Parish School was originally established in September 1907, for the 1908 School Year, under the supervision of the Pastor, Reverend James Reardon. Students were taught by Fr. Reardon and lay Catholic teachers. In June of 1909 due to a lack of funds, the school was closed. Several years later, St. Anthony Parish School was reopened. In 1916, Fr. Reardon procured four Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as teachers. The school, located adjacent to the rectory, was dedicated in September 1919 and consisted of grades Kindergarten through Eighth.
In May 1923, Fr. Hagerty dedicated a new school building. Following the earthquake of 1933 and the subsequent damage to the building, the school was rebuilt and dedicated by Fr. Lucey. The present St. Anthony Parish School was built in 1954. It is a two story, twelve classroom building.
Throughout the history of St. Anthony Parish School, both religious and lay people have played a vital role in shaping the school’s Catholic identity. Following the departure of the Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1970, the Sisters of St. Francis, Third Franciscan Order, from Syracuse, New York arrived at our school. Sr. Margaret Coyne served as Principal for 25 years until she retired in 2004. Presently, the school’s Principal works closely with the Pastor to organize school liturgies, prayer services, sacramental preparation, and Christian outreach projects. Faith continues to be at the forefront of the St. Anthony Parish School education.
In addition to establishing rich faith tradition, St. Anthony Parish School also expanded its educational programs. In 1981, a full-day Kindergarten was opened. In 1988 the school opened an extended day care program to meet the needs of our many working parents. The elementary school further expanded in 1996 by establishing Pre-Kindergarten under the guidance of Fr. Caruso.
Since 2003, then Administrator and now Pastor Reverend José Magaña, has worked arduously to continue the legacy of the many individuals who love and support Catholic Education. Father José established the Fr. José Parish Scholarship Fund, a parishioner-funded scholarship program that provides tuition assistance to qualifying families, making the school attainable to the school’s downtown community. As a Pastor who sees the school as part of the whole parish community, he extended parish support to the school by consolidating the church and school administrative and support staff. His vision and hard work have brought about many improvements in the church and school facilities. With the help of many staff hours, grants and donors, our school children enjoy the Mary Louise Lynott Garden; the State-Licensed Brother Hillarion, O.S.F. Pre-School Campus; refurbished kitchen, classrooms, hallways and lunch areas.
St. Anthony Parish School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and also maintains membership in the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).
See more at: School History
Our Patron Saint
St. Anthony de Padua
St. Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal in early 1190. His parents would encourage his call to the priesthood hoping he would become the canon of the cathedral in Lisbon. Anthony’s journey as a servant of God would take a very different path. He joined a strict community of Augustinian canons.
Later when the first Franciscan martyrs bodies were processed through Portugal, his passionate desire to risk all in preaching the Good News was renewed. So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to the Moors. Illness prevented him from fulfilling this passion and he was sent to Italy to a small hermitage where he spent most of his time in prayer, studying Scriptures and doing menial tasks.
Once at an ordination, Anthony was called upon to preach as no one else was prepared. His sermon so impressed those in attendance that he was called upon to preach at many other occasions. He soon became recognized as a distinguished scripture and theology scholar and was the first friar to teach theology to other friars.
After his service to the Albigensians in France, where his knowledge of Scripture and theology helped to convert those taken in by a heresy, he moved to the city of Padua. His skill as a preacher brought such immense crowds to Padua that he moved to the piazzas or open fields to preach.
At 36 years old and in very frail health, Anthony withdrew from Padua to a hermitage built in the branches of a large walnut tree. He spent the final days of his life in a small treehouse, praying and working on sermon to assist other preachers. He died on his journey to return to his beloved Padua, on June 13, 1231.
People around the world remember him in novenas and as the saint who finds lost objects. But he is also honored as a great spiritual guide and teacher of God’s word.