As summer winds down we look forward to the new year at St. Anthony School for sure! Our new and interim principal, Ms. Janie Harris, will bring us into a position to hire a long term leader for us. Thank you Ms.Janie!

But just in case you thought we were down for the summer… we have been conducting an experiment with year round school with our St. Anthony Academy – run by our teachers – which will reduce brain drain and character deformation. But wait! There’s more… TJ Cofield continues to lead St. Anthony University with record numbers attending in adult faith formation.

Overall we are also enjoying the continuing development of our master plan to create accessible bathrooms, a larger church lobby, the extension of the church toward the old friary and reskinning the entire building, with new roofing, to match the new school. This will create a one mission look as we move to do greater things for our city in the future.

St. Anthony’s has enjoyed tremendous growth. When I arrived 12 years ago with Fr. David Hyman, OFM there were approximately 75 members of the Black community and 75 members of the white community. Today, the now 287 member Black community has welcomed 1000 members of the White, Asian, and Latino community. I have been overjoyed by the desire to celebrate together the genius of African American Black Catholic spirituality and liturgy. May it be ever preserved as a living gift to the wider church.

I have received word from my province of Franciscans that I am to serve you another 3 years. While there are benefits and burdens for us with having that long a service by one friar, I hope we can give everything to God, whose giving we will never out-do.

The issues of gentrification, voting redistricting and predatory loan companies continue to be present day slavery practices and we must fight them with everything God gives us. No one seems malicious, yet many seem apathetic. That is what Dr. King feared most.

Join me in serving justice in love, rooted in the Sacramental life of the Church, especially the Eucharist, and revealing God’s love in the ways we sacrifice to love all. Peace and every good to you and yours. Fr.Patrick