News from San Antonio Church – March 5, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin March 5, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this 2nd of Lent, we extend many thanks to all those dedicated men and women from San Antonio Church, all their families and friends   who gave up their time to make the first fundraiser event of 2023 our annual Pizza Party a success.  Our kitchen crew, bakers and the staff who handled all the orders and covered the drive thru, we thank you.  One of those crewmembers, Vic Minella handled the many tasks to get this Saturday, March 4th   event completed for the benefit of San Antonio Church.  Vic, his wife Marilyn and their family members have volunteered and done the many jobs our grandparents before us have done to keep our church going.  Every Sunday before our 9:00 AM Mass and on all Lunch on the House Tuesday’s Vic and Marilyn were the first to arrive and the last to leave.  After he retired, and on the urging of his cousin Richard “Mussie” Minella, Vic would go on to use his managerial skills to align our volunteers in an orderly way for the benefit our church.  He became the liaison within our Parish Family working with Fr. Jim Kiffmeyer, Fr.  Len Wenke, and our new pastor, Fr. Rudy at Holy Family Parish.  Vic and Marylin returned in 2007 to San Antonio Church and to the old neighborhood of Vic Minella’s Grandparents, Giovanni Pasquale Raffaele (1877-1963) and Philomena (Perrone) Minella (1881-1974). 

His grandparents were born and married in Felitto, Italy in 1899 before arriving in America around 1902 with their first born, Vic’s father Victor “Vito” Minella Sr. ( 1899-1985).  After their arrival, they settled in Old Forge, Pennsylvania where jobs were available to work in the mines and it was there that they became Naturalized citizens.  After settling in Cincinnati, Giovanni Pasquale Raffaele and Philomena Minella welcomed siblings Vic’s Aunts and Uncles, Anna (Minella) Augustine (1904-1992), Sabato “Sam” Minella (1906-1946), Mathilda Lea (Minella) Zompero-Macaluso, Antoinette May “Nay Nay”(Minella) Lee (1911-1997), Therese (Minella) Frye (1912-1997), Rose Marie (Minella) Dattilo (1915-2014), Catherine “Kate” Minella (1918-2011, and Herman “Hermie” Minella (1920-1993). 

The large Minella Family was part of the group of Italian immigrants who settled in the Little Italy section of South Fairmount at 1985 Queen City Avenue close to the Schiavo family at 1990 Queen City.  The Esposito Family at 1994 Queen City Avenue and the Panaro Family at 1998 Queen City Avenue.  These family members along with other residents of the Upper and Lower Lick Run sections of “ Little Italy”  came together with Sr. Blandina,  Sr. Justina, and Sr.  Euphrasia to help start our early church, work the first Festivals, Spaghetti Dinners, and years later be involved with the Monte Carlo Nights along with the many Fish Frys that united all these families to keep San Antonio Church alive.   

Vic’s Aunts, Anna, Kate, Mathilda, Nay Nay and Rose were dedicated parishioners who attended Mass and celebrated many milestones, meetings and events that made San Antonio unique.  Vic’s father, Victor “Vito” Minella Sr. (1899-1985) the oldest Minella Sibling served in the United Sates Army during WWI while his younger brothers Herman and Sabato “Sam” Minella would help their parents support the church.  After serving in the Army Air Corps, Vic’s father Victor Minella Sr. wed Loretta (Fisher) Minella (1907-1976) and welcome daughters Mary Margaret (Minella) Mills (1926-1964), Delores Minella (1928-1929 lost in infancy), Phyllis R. (Minella) Clyde (1931-2012), Geraldine M. (Minella)) Gilligan (1939-2019), Cheryl Willenborg, and the youngest Victor Minella Jr.  Our dedicated parishioner and volunteer, Vic Minella Jr. would marry his high school sweetheart Marilyn Schuster on August 29,1959 when he was a mechanic and she worked as a stenographer.

They celebrated 64 years as a married couple in 2023 with their children Vic III, Lynn, Barb (who was here many Sundays as a lecture when needed), and Janet (who lives in Florida) along with their families have continued to offer support and volunteer for fundraisers at San Antonio Church, especially during our 100th Anniversary year in 2022.  We appreciate their efforts for always being available to us when needed.   We will never forget the Minella Family for always carrying on the tradition, dedication, and mission of our church for the last 16 years.

News from San Antonio Church – February 26, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin February 26, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On February 26, 2023, this 1st Sunday in Lent, we welcome members from the Flowers, Florimonte, Benevengo, Combs, Cerchio Minella and Stanghetti Families back to San Antonio Church to mourn and remember their matriarch, Nancy Jean (Florimonte) Flowers who passed away on February 3, 2023 on the Feast of St. Blaise at the age of 74.  Nancy Rose Flowers (Nee Florimonte) was the daughter of the late Michael (Michele) Joseph Florimonte (1922-1975) and Mary Grace (Benevengo) Florimonte (1925-1987) both born in Italy; married in 1947 after he served in the Army in World War II.  They both came from large families and were proud of their Italian Heritage.  On her father Michael’s side Nancy was close with his siblings, her Aunts and Uncles, Louise, Lena, Antoinette, Anna Marie, Angelo, Anthony, and Joseph.  Nancy had many cousins from the Florimonte, Cerchio, Minella Di Stasi, Nese, Odenbach, Sprecker and Volpe families with many relatives still living in Italy.  Nancy’s Grandparents, her father Michael parents were Giuseppe (Joseph) Florimonte (1900-1961) and Rosaria Maria (Minella) Florimonte (1900-1971) who were married on April 7, 1921 in Felitto, Italy arrived in New York on July 28, 1922 then settled in Akron, Ohio where their 1st child Louise (1929-1988) was born. 

Nancy’s Great Grandparents on the Florimonte side were Michele Florimonte (1848-1929) and 1st wife Maria Carmela( Nese) Florimonte (1847-1880) married on February 20, 1871 and welcomed 2 children before she died after 9 years of marriage.  Michele wed 2nd wife,  Luigia  (Di Stasi ) Florimonte (1860-1949) and would add 9 children to their family as they lived their whole lives in Italy and are buried there. 

Nancy’s Great Great Grandparents were Nicola Florimonte (1811-1853) and Anna (Minella) Florimonte who married on January 16, 1836 in Italy and had 2 children before he died at the age of 42.  They are all buried in Felitto, Italy.  Her Great Great Great Grandparents were Francantonio Florimonte and Giuseppa (Volpe) Florimonte who welcomed 3 children Carmela (1806-1852), Gaetana Vincenza Florimonte born in 1810, and Nicola Florimonte (1811-1853) in Felitto, Italy.

Nancy’s mother, Mary Grace Benevengo Florimonte’s parents and her grandparents were John Benevengo (1888-1969) who came to the U.S. through Boston, Massachusetts in 1914 at the age of 26 and Jeanette (Cirrone) Benevengo (1891-1968) who arrived from Italy earlier in 1912 and lived in Boston, Massachusetts with parents Louis and Rose (Recchia) Cirrone.  John Benevengo and Jeanette Cirrone were married in Pennsylvania in 1923. The Benevengo Uncles and Aunts:  Frank, Louis, John,, Margaret, Jean, and Rose with Nancy sharing many cousins from the Bamonte, Inman and Kleinger Families. 

Nancy (Florimonte) Flowers grew up with many ties to South Fairmount along with her late sister Patricia Jean (Florimonte) Stanghetti (1950-2020) and brother Michael Florimonte.   Nancy wed James (Jim) Flowers in October of 1968 at San Antonio Church with her sister Pat Florimonte as her Maid of Honor.  In May of 1972, Nancy (Florimonte) Flowers witnessed her sister Patty’s wedding to James (Jim) Stanghetti also at San Antonio Church.   Before her passing, Nancy and Jim Flowers celebrated 54 years as a loving couple who spent many memorable vacations with their family.  They welcomed 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughter during those happily married years and joyfully celebrated their 4 family weddings of Jim to Lisa, Chris to Laura, Kelly to Dave and Matt to Erin.  Nancy was thrilled when grandchildren entered their family and was proud of all their accomplishments as she saw them grow and flourish as they approached adulthood.    

Nancy’s Grandchildren: Jordan Flowers, Jack (Ignas Karaliunas) Flowers, Faith (Luke) Jett, Benjamin Flowers, Emily Flowers, Luke Flowers, Samantha Flowers and the youngest Perry Combs who enjoyed the many memorable times she spent with her beloved Granny.  Nancy also leaves her brother Mike, sister-in-law Susan, and their family; brother-in-law, Jim Stanghetti and her late sister Pat and their family, and cousin Vince and Jean Cerchio and their family.  Our San Antonio Church Community sends their condolences and prayers on the loss of Nancy Jean (Florimonte) Flowers (1948-2023).

News from San Antonio Church – February 19, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin February 19, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time, we anticipate the start of Lent on Wednesday, February 22nd.    At one time, the day before Ash Wednesday, Shrove Tuesday, many would set aside this day to confess their sins in the Sacrament of Penance as a prelude to the Lenten Discipline.  Shrove is derived from the word shrive meaning to absolve as in the Sacrament of Confession.  In many cultures, the day before the start of Lent known as Fat Tuesday is commemorated with carnival celebrations held as a last opportunity for partying before Lent begins.  It is customary to fast on Ash Wednesday with only a simple meal usually without meat. The practice of fasting has a strong biblical base with Jesus choosing to fast for 40 days and 40 nights for His own spiritual preparation.  On Shrove Tuesday, some Christians make a decision on what will be omitted during this fasting season as they pray for strength to keep their sacrifice during the next 40 days.  Some Christians see this time to volunteer their time for worthwhile causes or donate monies to needs in their communities.  The United Methodist Church refers to one’s Lenten sacrifice that “On each Lord’s Day in Lent while the Lenten Fast Continues, the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with Joyful anticipation of the Resurrection”. 

Lent is the time in this Liturgical Season of fasting, prayer and almsgiving as well as giving up luxuries to recall Jesus Christ’s sacrifice during his journey into the desert for 40 days in anticipation of Easter.  The number 40 has many Biblical References:  Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai with God.  Elijah spent 40 days and nights walking to Mount Horeb.  God sent 40 days and nights of rain in the great flood of Noah.  The Hebrew people wandered 40 years in the dessert while traveling to the Promised Land.  Jonah’s Prophecy of judgement gave 40 days to the city of Nineveh in which to repent or be destroyed.  When Jesus retreated into the wilderness.  He fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil but by citing scripture he overcame the devils temptations according to the Gospels of Matthew.  According to the traditional belief that Jesus lay for 40 hours in the tomb led to the 40 hours of fasting leading up to Easter in the Early Church. 

On Wednesday, we will have a 12:00 noon Mass at San Antonio Church with the distribution of Ashes.  Fr. Jim Meade has agreed to open the Lenten Liturgical Season with us as this is his first visit to our church so, please be on time.   The Christian tradition of distributing ashes uses the remains of burnt palm branches left over from Palm Sunday which are blessed and used to mark the foreheads of the faithful on the first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday), as a reminder of mortality and as a penitential sign of turning away from sin.  

San Antonio Church will hold its first major fundraiser for 2023 on Saturday, March 4, 2023.  This event is sponsored by the Men’s and Ladies Sodality with Carry Out and Dine in Service.  Carry Out Service will be offered from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM and the Dine In with the “All You Can Eat Pizza” starts at 5:30 PM and runs to 9:00 PM and is limited to 125 people.   The Dine In Pizza Evening will cost $15.00 per person.   The price for carry Out Orders depends on the choice of your Pizza Order.  

There will be quite a selection of gourmet pizzas and also dessert to top off your meal.  The following selection of 8 delicious pizzas will be served:  Ladies of the Lot, Traditional Cheese, Pepperoni Lovers, Anchovy, Veggie Lovers, Sweet Dessert and Savory Dessert Pizza.  There will be Carry Out order forms and Dine In reservation forms in our Hall after our 9: 00 AM Mass every Sunday.  For more information or for any questions you might have regarding the Saturday, March 4th event, please contact Dave Sabatelli at 513-405-6444.  

On Sunday, February 26th, San Antonio Church will welcome the Flowers, Florimonte and Cerchio Families as they gather to mourn the loss of Nancy (Florimonte) Flowers at our 9:00 AM Mass.  Nancy (Florimonte) Flowers came from the large Florimonte Family who lived in South Fairmount’s  “Little Italy”  at 2165 Queen City Avenue in the early years of the church’s history.

News from San Antonio Church – February 12, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin February 12, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time, we honor a longtime parishioner who passed away on February 14, 2021 on the 2nd Anniversary of her death.    The parishioners at San Antonio Church owe a debt of gratitude to Jo Ann Metz for all the networking she did during her lifetime to keep our church open and relevant in the community.  Jo Ann Metz (1931-2021) was born and raised in South Fairmount at 2003 Queen City Avenue across the street from the Panaro and Esposito families.  Her parents were Frank (1893-1965) a well-liked Mail Carrier working at the Price Hill Station covering rural Route #4 who would later work with the Post Office to locate the steering wheel on the passenger side for easier mail delivery.  Jo Ann’s mom, Mary Herdeman Metz (1893-1972) was a volunteer at St. Joseph’s Orphanage when she was President of the Welfare Society, St. Bonaventure’s and later became the President of the St. Ann’s Married Ladies Sodality at San Antonio Church.  Jo Ann attended St. Bonaventure School with Sisters Carol, Rosemary, and Mary Jane and their many friends from the old neighborhood.  When Jo Ann was in the 6th Grade, she participated in a city-wide essay competition in 1941 for Girls Week.  It was open to all grade schoolgirls whose hobbies were music, art, or poetry to compete in one of these fields of interest with Jo Ann winning an award for her essay on Cartooning.  After Graduation from St. Bonaventure’s School, she went on to St. Xavier Commercial High School and graduated as one of 114 Girls to receive her Diploma in May 1945.  

Jo Ann wed Victor Jelen, an engineer and welcomed Andrew, Peter and Jean to their family.  She would continue her education working towards her law degree while serving as President of the Oak Hills School Board.  During that time, Andrew was stationed in the Army, Peter was at West Point and Jean (Metz) Zurface was an active-duty officer in the Army.  Andrew became a Quality Engineer for his company, Encompass International while Peter would serve in a Special Forces Unit in the Army and Jean would receive her Law Degree and serve as a JAG Officer.  Those years were busy for Jo Ann, and it was also an uncertain time for churches and the future of St. Bonaventure and San Antonio Church.  Jo Ann knew the parishioners would need advice and she would use her skills to address the congregation at San Antonio Church on what the best plan would be to insure the church’s future.  Jo Ann and her team of Joe Cupito and Jim Schulter worked toward the future goals for the church and never gave up the fight.  We will never forget Jo Ann and everything she did to keep our church open while including   San Antonio parishioners, past and present in her plans.   

After we dedicated our Brick Memorial Garden in 2008, Jo Ann started working with MSD and the South Fairmount Improvement Association for plans that would benefit of our church.  She attended every meeting, workshop and commission forum to give her input on new improvements near the church.  She even bought properties around the perimeter of the church hoping to change the dynamics of Lick Run.  Everyone she knew respected Jo Ann and sought her advice whether it was from city leaders or residents from the neighborhood.  She found a new mountain to conquer when she bought land in Indiana and was in the process of building a house when she passed away on Valentines’ Day, February 14, 2021.  She leaves her son Peter, daughter Jean and her beloved Granddaughter, Kali Alyssa Jelen now a lawyer at a firm in California and niece, Barb Espsoito Illaqua.    Preceding her in death, son Andrew in 2009, her sister Carol (Metz) Williams-Hase (1932-1995), Mary Jane (Metz) Shaw (1922-2017), Rosemary (Metz) Esposito (1927-2018).  We will never forget her as we honor Jo Ann Metz on this Sunday, February 12th on the 2nd Anniversary of her passing. 

This Sunday, we also remember our good friend, Victoria “Vicky” (Beckman) Currin who passed away on February 1, 2023 at the age of 65.  Vicky became a regular at our 9:00 AM Mass along with her husband Terry who always supported our fundraisers and events.  Vicky’s mom Josephine “JoAnn” (Macaluso) Beckman (1933-2009) was a longtime parishioner and benefactor along with Vicky’s Great Grandparents, Raffaele (1877-1963) and Philomena (Perrone) Minella (1881-1974),  Grandparents Philip (1907-2000) and Matilda Lea (Minella) Macaluso (1909-1981) and Aunt Dorothy “Dottie” (Macaluso) Williams (1929-2019).  Vicky’s brother Steve and wife Jeanette Beckman have continued their families tradition to dedicate time for the good of our church with Steve volunteering at every Lunch on the House in our Hall.   We have missed seeing Vicky and Terry at our Mass on Sunday, but we will never forget the beautiful wedding of her daughter Melissa to Bobby Corso held at San Antonio Church a few years ago. 

Vicky leaves many family connections from our church who have known her for many years and will miss her terribly.  She was the beloved wife of Terry, Mother of Doug (Allison) Jones, Danielle (Kevin) Ohms, Melissa (Bobby) Corso, Amy (Malcolm) Berry, Brian (Natalie) Currin, Brett (Leigh) Currin.  Vicky’s Grandchildren, Kayla, Nate, Sami, Xander, Maia, Brenan, Jack, Caden, Gemma, Henry, Alistair, and Luca.  Vicky also leaves her Aunt Phyliss (Macaluso) Seger many cousins,  nieces, nephews from the Macaluso, Beckman, Jones , Minella, Seger Families and her good friends and cousins Jeffrey Williams and Stephanie Curd.   Her Funeral Mass was held at St. Dominic Church on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.  Please keep all her family members and friends in your prayers as they grieve the loss of Vicky (Beckman) Currin at this most difficult time.

News from San Antonio Church – February 5, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin February 5, 2023

by Terrie Evans

Our San Antonio Church Community is heartbroken on the loss of our Guardian Angels and Staunch Supporter, Deanne (Dee) Marie Gardonio (1958-2023) who passed away on Sunday, January 22, 2023.  With Frank at her side, Dee kept her faith as we held them in our thoughts and invoked many special prayer intentions during the time, they could not be with us.    Dee was born in Cincinnati, grew up in St. Bernard, and went on to join the medical profession by becoming a much-respected Nurse.  Later she changed her career path by becoming a Medical Equipment Sales Rep covering many states, sometimes driving 1,500 miles in a single week meeting with Doctors and Hospital Teams.   She was called on at times to deliver much needed equipment on short notice as she covered her large area.  At one time,  Dee drove to West Virginia for the much-needed medical supplies that had to be delivered in an emergency situation.  Her colleagues and clients knew Dee as a very accomplished woman in the tough profession of medical sales requiring excellent networking skills.

We all met Deanne “Dee” when she came to San Antonio Church with the Ladies from The La Societa Femminile Fuscaldese for their breakfast.  After we received their beautiful likeness of San Francesco, we learned the importance of the saint and the crown, Charity (Charitas) that Frank Perrotta handcrafted.  Frank and Dee made the pilgrimage to Paola, Italy where they chose to visit and honor San Francesco de Paola, a Saint they both revered.  Deanne (Dee) not only attended our 9:00 AM Sunday Mass but was active in all things San Antonio and always let others know to call on her whenever she was needed.  She was present for all the events in our Hall and the casseroles and homemade coffee cakes she delivered for all our Father’s Day Breakfasts were the best.   Dee would never hesitate to offer her baking skills for the Spaghetti Dinners, Lunch on the House Tuesdays, or the Pizza Party and on many Sundays, she would bake “a little something”  for our priests to take home to enjoy.  We all remember her spirit of giving when she would drive someone to a medical procedure or check on one of our parishioners who might need a little TLC after surgery. 

Dee was known to make “house calls” to fit a device on a patient as she did for friends, Frank and Rita (De Toma) Scigliulo.  Dee was very important to all of us, and we will never forget her classic style of dress at Sunday Mass or the traditional Easter Bonnets she wore every year.  Dee left us way too soon; the memories of all she was will never leave us.   All the parishioners have really missed Dee at Mass and in the Hall every Sunday, but we feel very blessed to have known her over these past years. We will continue to pray for Frank Perrotta, his Sons, Umberto (Stepheny), Sergio, Aldo (Rebecca), Marcello  (Katryna) and Grandchildren Niko, Cyntina ,Christiano and Reina who Dee loved dearly and was thrilled when Grandchildren were born into their family.  

We will also pray for Dee’s mother Dolores (Leigh) Walker, Sisters and their Spouses: Denise & Tom Sebastiano, Lisa & Mike Clyde, Lori & David DeMoss, and her Brothers and their Wives:  Michael & Nancy Gardonio and Brian & Daycy Walker and their families.  Her father, Thomas Gardonio, Stepfather Emmanuel Lanier Walker (1932-2014), Sister, Gayle Ann Dunbar (1960-2020) and Uncle Raymond Leigh (1931-2013) proceeded her.  Deanne (Dee) Gardonio’s funeral Mass was held at San Antonio Church on the Feast of St. Blaise with Fr. Mike Savino officiating on one of the saddest days in the history of our church.  Please keep Frank Perrotta, the Gardonio , Walker and the Leigh Family members as they mourn the loss of their beloved Dee.   

We also lost another Friend of San Antonio Church when Judge Jon Sieve died suddenly on January 19, 2023.  Jon and Cheryl (O’Leary) Sieve have attended our events over the years and Jon was a longtime supporter of The Mussie Men’s Fest held every April in our Hall.  The Sieve’s have many connections with our parishioners especially with their best friends Dan and Melissa (Morrissey) Minella and their son Christiaan and his wife Andrea .  Judge Sieve served on the Hamilton County Court of Domestic Relations for two terms becoming an advocate for all families going through difficult times.  His funeral Mass was held at the Mater Dei Chapel at Mt. Saint Joseph on Saturday January 28th.  Please keep the Sieve, Hendon and Deters families and their friends in all your prayers at this difficult time.

News from San Antonio Church – January 29, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin January 29, 2023

by Terrie Evans

Our parish community will honor and celebrate the feast day of St. Blaise on this Sunday although his actual feast day is Friday, February 3rd.  We will have a blessing this morning with two crossed candles to invoke the intercession of St. Blaise for maladies of the throat.   The priest will then say: “Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness”.  St. Blaise is considered one of the most popular Medieval Saints that is venerated as a Christian Saint and martyr in the Catholic, Eastern, and Oriental Orthodox Churches along with those who are faithful and part of the Anglican Communion Community.  

St. Blaise was born in Sebastea (Armenia) and had been a doctor before becoming a priest.  He was then elected Bishop by the citizens of Sebastea, now present-day Sivas, Turkey.  He became known as a healer of bodily ailments with many faithful flocking to him for cures of all their ills, of the body and spirit.  Before his death in 316 AD, St. Blaise became known for performing a miracle on a very sick child who was dying of suffocation from a fish bone being lodged in his throat.  After placing his hands on the throat of the child and praying over him, the small child was healed.  The first reference to St. Blaise was in the Medical journals of   Aetius of Amida (Greek Christian Physician) around 500 A.D. where St. Blaise is invoked in treating objects stuck in the throat.   Around 400 years after his death, the Acts of St. Blaise of the miracles attributed to him were written; adding to his popularity throughout France and Germany.  Many churches all over the globe have added the Blessing of the Throats near or on his feast day. 

St. Blaise is also known as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers who are a group of Saints venerated by Roman Catholic Christians to interceded against various diseases. These Saints were invoked for almost every aspect of different illnesses that could affect one’s life.   This group of Saints, referred to as Nothelfer or “Helpers in Need“ originated in Germany around the 14th Century when the epidemic known as the Black Death (1346-1353) was running rampant throughout Europe.  The 14 Holy Helpers who were called upon to cure many ailments are:  St. Agathius ( May 7th),  St. Barbara ( December 4th), St. Blaise( February 3rd),  Catherine of Alexandria ( November 25th), St. Christopher ( July 25th), St. Cyriacus ( August 8th),  St. Denis ( October 9th), St. Erasmus ( June 2nd),  St. Eustace ( September 20th), St. George ( April 23rd), St. Giles, ( September 1st) St. Margaret of Antioch ( July 17th),  St. Pantaleon ( July 27th), St. Vitus ( June 15th).   The Black Death started a new wave of piety manifested in the sponsorship of religious works of art.  The figurines of St. Blaise and the thirteen other Holy Helpers are displayed in the Chapel in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany and are still seen as healers for various diseases.   

There are various churches dedicated to St. Blaise all over the world as in Germany, the former Abbey of St. Blasius in the Black Forest and in Great Britain in the town of St. Blazey located in Cornwall, where a parish is also dedicated to him.   In Croatia, Saint Blaise (Sveti Blaz) is the Patron Saint of the City of Dubrovnik where many festivities are scheduled on his feast day.   In Sao Bras, Goa India, St. Blaise Church was built by Croatian sailors in 1541, a replica like the one in their home city of Dubrovnik.  There are relics of St.  Blaise in churches and chapels throughout Europe and Italy where he is known as San Biagio, where the remains of St. Blaise were shipwrecked off the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea in 732 during the reign of Emperor Leo the Isaurian.  They are now interred on Monte San Biagio at the Basilica, high above the town of Maratea (the town of 44 Churches) in the Province of Potenza.  In 1963, there was a 21-meter-high statue of the Christ the Savior built of pure Carrara marble on the mountain dedicated to St. Blaise that rises 68 feet above the town.   

There is also a statue of St. Blaise (San Biagio) on a spire of the Duomo of Milan, the Cathedral of Milan that was started in 1389 and took 6 Centuries to complete.  In Milan, the tradition of saving a slice of the yearly Saint Blaise Panettone, which is never eaten completely during the holidays, is always eaten on the Feast Day of St. Blaise.   In some parts of Italy, volunteer bakers still practice the yearly ritual of preparing the Panicelle for the saints feast day.  Volunteer bakers gather to work the dough into the holy loaves in the form of a blessing hand.  They start the process on January 31st baking baskets of the blessed Panicelle that will be given to the faithful and the children in their church community to protect them in devotion to St. Blaise.  In the region of Campania, locals travel to the Shrine dedicated to San Biagio to show respect and to invoke his help with the special prayers recited for someone they know who needs a special intention.

News from San Antonio Church – January 22, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin January 22, 2023

by Terrie Evans

This 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time is dedicated to The Word of God Sunday as a way to enlighten the faithful about our bonds with God.    On September 30, 2019 on the feast of St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church,  His Holiness Pope Francis established this day in his honor.  St. Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life for his translation of the Bible from Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into Latin.  St. Jerome was a Christian Priest, Confessor, Theologian and historian who had extensive writings, many historical essays and is the Patron saint of Translators, Librarians and Encyclopedists.  One of his notable ideas was the perpetual Virginity of Mary and his letters that were widely read and distributed throughout the Christian Empire.  On his announcement on the Feast day of St. Jerome, Pope Francis wanted this Sunday devoted to the celebration, dissemination and study on the Word of God.  Pope Francis called for this day in response to many requests from the faithful around the globe to earmark a Sunday with a direct focus on The Word of God.  He asked and invited local communities who wanted this solemn day to find ways”  to mark this Sunday with a certain solemnity”.  Some of Pope Francis suggestions, was a way for Pastors to explain the Sacred Scripture for everyone to understand it and enlisted Parishes to distribute Bibles or books of the Bible on Word of God Sunday. 

In 2015, during the distribution of Bibles, Pope Francis said, “ Take this Gospel and carry it with you, to read it often, every day.  Carry it in your purse, in your pocket, read from it often, a passage every day.”  He also asks that we pray for Christian Unity especially as this Sunday falls during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity celebrated from January 18-25.  Pope Francis states “We are encouraged to strengthen our bonds with the Jewish people and to pray for Christian Unity.  The celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God has ecumenical value, since the Scriptures point out, for those who listen, the path to authentic and firm unity.”

On this Sunday, January 22nd, we also honor a day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children to remember the millions of children who have been lost through the Supreme Court decision on January 22, 1973 that legalized abortion.  This enactment, 50 years ago, has also had a devastating effect on millions of women and their family members who have been affected by abortion.  Pope Francis feels the present a throwaway culture is part of the heartbreaking magnitude of abortion as he asks all of us as people of faith to keep active with prayers and special intentions that will be heard.  In all Dioceses throughout the United States, this day will be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.  Pope Saint John Paul II said “A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world.  Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.  The Prayer from Saint Pope John Paul II:  Please God you may continue, closely united with one another to be a force of renewal and hope in our society.  May the Lord help you to work ceaselessly to enable all, believer and non-believers alike, to understand that protection of Human life from conception is an essential condition for building a future worthy of the human being. 

A PRAYER FOR LIFE: “Father and maker of all, you adorn all creation with splendor and beauty, and fashion lives in your image and likeness.  Awaken in every heart reverence for the work of your hands.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit.  God forever and ever.  Amen.”

News from San Antonio Church – January 15, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin January 15, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this 3rd Sunday of January and the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, we have the annual World Religion Sunday to celebrate people of all faiths as they join together to introduce the similarities and differences of each other’s religion.  At present, there are close to 4,200 religions throughout the world with Christianity now 2,000 years old, being the most prominent religion in the world with Islam, number 2.  The oldest religions in the world are Hinduism and Judaism.  The first World Religion Sunday was held in 1950 to maintain harmony between religions and cultures.  This event began to spread across the United States and is now promoted in over 80 countries around the globe.  Over the years, as a way to call attention for this annual day, Sri Lanka as well as the Republic of Congo have issued postage stamps with the World Religion Logo.  Some past themes were “Many Faiths One Family” and “The Power of Love” to promote the day among faith-based communities.  There will be religious services and events to unite people of all faiths.  

On Monday, January 16th of every year, the President of the United States will declare with a formal proclamation, Religious Freedom Day.  The President calls on all Americans to  “Observe the day through appropriate events and activities in homes, schools, and places of worship”.  National Religious Freedom Day commemorates the Virginia General Assembly’s adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom that was enacted on January 16, 1786,  237 years ago.   This Statue established the clause for the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that led to the freedom of religion for all Americans.  There has been an official proclamation on this day by every President of the United States since 1993. 

On Tuesday, we honor the feast day of St. Anthony, Abbot (251-356) who was born in Egypt.  He became a Hermit after the death of his parents selling his worldly possessions to aid the poor.   He was known for defending persecuted Christians in Alexandria and founding Monasteries for the many disciples who followed him. 

On Friday, January 20th we honor the Feast day of St. Sebastian, a Roman Soldier, born in Milan, Italy who died in 288.  He was known for his physical strength and endurance and is considered the Patron Saint of Athletes.  St. Sebastian was linked to the plague and the many who were stricken and sought his intercession with prayers.  There were many documented cures attributed to him with St. Sebastian easily Canonized by popular acclaim.  Also on Friday, January 20th we celebrate the Feast Day of Pope and Martyr, St. Fabian.   In the history of the Catholic Church, the elected Pope is regarded as a successor of St. Peter who was head of the Apostles with St. Fabian being very popular and considered a great Pope of the early Church.  He became the Bishop of Rome in 236 and during his 14-year reign was credited with dividing Rome into 7 Districts with 7 Deacons and establishing Churches throughout France.  St. Fabian died in 250.    

On Saturday, January 21st we celebrate the Feast of St. Agnes who in her early life in the 4th Century stated “Christ is my bridegroom “ He was the first to choose me. I shall be His alone.”  She was martyred for her faith, died at an early age and was buried at Via Nomentana   near Rome.  A few years after her death the Church of Sant Agnese Fuori le Mura was erected over her grave and although modified, still stands.  She is the Patron Saint of young girls and girl scouts with a romantic, poem by John Keats, The Eve of Saint Agnes honoring her.    It was written about the tale of a young unmarried girl seeing her future husband while she sleeps if she follows certain rites.  Keats based his poem on the belief that a girl could see her future husband in a dream if she went to bed without supper, after transferring pins from a pin cushion to a sleeve while reciting the Lord’s Prayer.  

On her feast day in Italy,  there is a tradition that dates to the 16th Century.  Two lambs will be brought from the Trappist Abbey in Rome to the Vatican for a special blessing by the Pope.  The lambs will then be shorn in the summer with the wool used to weave the Pallium,  a circular band of white wool with two hanging pieces and decorated with 6 black crosses.  The Pallium   will be given to the newly appointed Metropolitan Archbishops to wear over their shoulders and by the Pope on the Feast of St. Peter and Paul and at Pontifical Liturgies.  The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes, a religious community for women was founded in 1858, by Father Caspar Rehrl in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and a city in California, Santa Ynez is named after St. Agnes.

News from San Antonio Church – January 1, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin January 1, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On Saturday, December 31st we celebrate New Year’s Eve and the feast night of St. Sylvester, a priest who was born in Rome and became a spiritual director to Constantine.  St. Sylvester was the Pope when Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official state religion of Italy.  The legend states that St. Sylvester closes the door on one year and the pagan ceremonies and then opened the door to a New Year in the era of Christianity.  St. Sylvester was considered a great Pope and is especially venerated in Pisa where his feast is known as Feste Nazionali Capodanno.  To honor his day, a dinner consisting of steamed sausages and lentils will be served.  It is a night of many festivities with many fireworks and the old tradition of wearing any piece of red clothing to bring you luck.  The lentils symbolize money, sausages are said to bring abundance; as raisins, oranges, (symbols of riches, love, health and fortune) along with honey represent a sweet New Year to come.  

Throughout Italy, it is also the custom to throw out unwanted things in the hope of forgetting all the bad things that happened during the last year and to bring good fortune in the new one.  People will be cheering, clapping, stomping as church bells are ringing with old dishes and pottery hitting the ground.  The groups of merrymakers are trying to make as much noise to chase away the evil spirits before they have a chance to intrude on the New Year.   An ancient Roman New Year’s Day tradition was to gift family and friends branches of greenery for good luck.  Another Italian tradition for New Year’s Eve is to kiss under the mistletoe.  It is said that the mistletoe resembles love and protection, and it will drive away the evil spirits and keep your loved one safe.  At midnight in all English-speaking countries, it is customary for all those partygoers to sing Auld Lang Syne as a way to welcome the New Year of 2023!

On Sunday, January 1st we welcome the New Year at our 9:00AM Mass.  It is an annual International celebration and the first day of the Gregorian year.  New Year’s Day is the world’s most widely observed public holiday in all countries who follow   the Gregorian Calendar, except Israel.  At different times and in other places in Mediaval Christian Europe, the New Year was celebrated on December 25th in honor of the Birth of Jesus and then on March 1st in the Old Roman style, and on March 25th in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation (the date of the Conception of Jesus) and the New Year was also celebrated on the movable Feast of Easter. 

New Year’s Day liturgically marked the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus that is still observed in the Anglican, Lutheran and the Eastern Orthodox Churches who believe that if Jesus was born on December 25th, and according to Hebrew tradition, His circumcision would have taken place on the 8th day of His life January 1st.  On this day, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is honored in the mainstream Roman Catholic Church.

On Sunday, January 8th we will celebrate the Epiphany Day (Giorno dell ‘Epifania) which is the last day of the Christmas Season.  We will also have the Blessing of the Chalk to take home for all of us to Bless our homes for the New Year.  Please invite your family members and friends to welcome the New Year 2023.

News from San Antonio Church – January 8, 2023

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin January 8, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany to commemorate the visit of the Magi to the Christ child.  Also called Three Kings Day, in some traditions it is also celebrated as Little Christmas which initiates the Liturgical season of Epiphany-tide.   The word Epiphany originates from the koine Greek Epiphaneia which means appearance or a manifestation of a deity to a worshiper.  In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, it is one of the great feasts of the Liturgical year next to Easter (Paskha) and Pentecost in importance.   The earliest reference to the Christian Feast, the Epiphany was in 361 A.D. celebrating it as a double feast later to be expanded to honor His birth, the visit of the Magi and all of Jesus’ childhood events.  Eastern Christians gather and commemorate the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River which is seen as His manifestation to the world as the Son of God at the site of the Baptism of Jesus located in the West Bank.   Epiphany is celebrated in Eastern Churches who celebrate the Baptism of Christ and in the Western churches who commemorate the coming of the Magi with subordinate commemorations of the Baptism of Jesus and the Wedding at Cana.  In both traditions, the importance of the feast is still the same recalling the first manifestation of Christ’s public life.   In some parts of Europe, a Priest will bless Epiphany Water, Frankincense (Incense and a symbol of a Deity), Myrrh (Anointing oil), and Gold (A symbol of Kingship).  He will then announce the date of Easter on the Feast of the Epiphany, a practice that came from a time when calendars were not easily available.  The church needed to publicize many important dates and celebrations for the upcoming Liturgical year as all churchgoers would depend on it.  This yearly proclamation would then set the dates for Ash Wednesday, Easter Sunday, Ascension of Jesus Christ, Pentecost, The Body and Blood of Christ, and the First Sunday of Advent for the oncoming Liturgical year. 

Epiphany is a national holiday in Italy with many traditions especially the legend of La Befana who visits children on the Eve of Epiphany to gift them with candy.  She is a popular figure of Italian folklore who is depicted as an old witch on a broom who sadly missed her opportunity to bring a present to the child Jesus with the Three Wise Men because she was too busy with doing housework.  Being late for the journey, La Befana gathered gifts for Jesus, and with her broom took flight to locate him.  She never reached her destination so now she leaves gifts for the children who have hung their stockings and written special   notes to her.  There will be La Befana dolls placed in windows to welcome her on the eve of the Epiphany, January 7th with parties and processions held in her honor.  La Befana is considered the mother of every child in Italy.   In Rome, La Befana will visit guests at the Piazza Navona with sweet treats at the annual toy market and in some towns throughout Italy, children will wear costumes and masks going door to door collecting treats, like our Halloween.  In Germany, there is the kindly Frau Berchta and in Russia, Babuska bearing gifts on the eve of Epiphany. 

In the Unites States, Epiphany is considered as the beginning of the Carnival or King Cake Season in Louisiana and in Tarpon Springs Florida, the Epiphany City with the Greek Orthodox Church blessing the fleet of fishing boats.  Then the “Dive of the Cross” takes place with a ceremony of throwing a wooden cross in the water for divers to retrieve, promising   a blessed New Year.  It is believed that this annual ritual gives the water the power to cleanse and sanitize.   Many churches bless chalk to take home for writing the initials of the Magi (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar) over the doors of homes, churches and businesses for the New Year.    The initials C, M, B, are said to interpret the Latin Phrase, CHRISTUS MANSIONEM BENEDICAT for MAY CHRIST BLESS THIS HOUSE.    Please take home the blessed bags of chalk to welcome in the New Year of 2023 with instructions inside the bag for the blessing of the homes of your family and friends.