St. Anthony of Padua celebrating parish centennial

by Father James Gross | Parochial Vicar at St. Anthony of Padua Church


Father Courtrightis the main celebrant for the Mass that kicked off the centennial celebration for St. Anthony of Padua Church, Fargo, on Nov. 18. (Bruce Crummy | Bruce Crummy Photography)

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Fargo, has scheduled a number of events to mark its 100th anniversary. Founded as the city’s second Catholic Church (after St. Mary’s Cathedral), Bishop James O’ Reilly of Fargo dedicated the new church building Nov. 18, 1917 to meet the spiritual needs of Catholics on the growing south side of the city. Monsignor Vincent Ryan served as the first Pastor from 1917-40, before being named Bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck. The current pastor is Father Raymond Courtright, serving in this position since 2009.

St. Anthony’s held a special Mass Nov. 18, 2016 to kick off the centennial observances. The congregation welcomed back several clergy and religious sisters who had served the parish and school. St. Anthony’s School, completed in the 1920s, most recently served middle school students in the metropolitan area until 1998, when it was renamed Sullivan Middle School and eventually moved to its current location on the Shanley/Sullivan campus in south Fargo. After an extensive renovation, the school building now serves as office spaces, faith formation classrooms and the parish social hall.

A volunteer centennial committee is putting together a commemorative book to be available next year. The parish is also about to embark on a campaign to finance needed renovations to the sanctuary, to be completed in 2017.

Upcoming events include a parish picnic and all-school reunion June 16 and a closing liturgy Nov. 18. Everyone is welcome to join in any or all of these celebrations and help the people of St. Anthony’s honor their great heritage of faith.