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Weekly Bulletin December 4, 2022
by Terrie Evans
On Saturday, November 30, 2022 San Antonio Church held the funeral Mass for Matthew J. Cupito (1963-2022) who passed away on November 20th. Matthew was the beloved son of Joseph and Mary Ann Cupito and was a descendant of one of the early families in the history of our church. Matthew leaves spouse, Carrie (Dunfee) Cupito and child Ryan along with brothers, Steve (Erin), Adam (Laurie) and Mark (Geri) and their families. We send our condolences to them and all their extended family members Nephews, Brad, Bryan, Mark, Andrew and Nicholas and niece Emma. Matt was a proud graduate of Elder High School and leaves many good friends and work associates who valued him. Please keep our longtime parishioners, Joe and Mary Ann Cupito and their family in your prayers.
As we celebrate the 2nd Sunday of Advent on this 1st Sunday in December, we also recall the dedication of our church building. In the history of our church, a milestone took place when on the 1st Sunday of December in 1940, the newly built San Antonio Italian Church was formally open, 82 years ago. That Sunday was like no other with the whole neighborhood of the Little Italy Section of South Fairmount rejoicing in the church they worked so hard to build. They had seen many positive changes in their new home country, America and were proud of their accomplishments as they worked to achieve the American Dream. All these families felt St. Anthony was looking out for them with the good fortune of a church and hall to serve the Italian Catholics of the neighborhood. They were very thankful and appreciative of the tedious work of Sr. Blandina, Sr. Justina, and Sr. Euphrasia, who for the last 18 years had worked with the Italians of South Fairmount to build a parish of their own someday.
These working-class families had worshiped in two other buildings, the 1st at 1948 Queen City Avenue and later the 2nd church used for Mass would have to be torn down to make way for the new stretch of Queen City Avenue. When plans were in place for a brand-new building, a temporary vacant building at the corner of Sperber and Queen City Avenue accommodated only 80 people but would be used from November 1939 until December 1st, 1940, while the new church was being built. With the church now completed, a date was set for the first Mass with Bishop Rehring, Pastor Fr. Ferdinand Nirmaier, and honorary priests in attendance for the High Mass at !0:00 AM. While giving thanks on this milestone day, the parishioners said a prayer to St. Anthony and thought of all the priests who had not only served them but had elevated their lives.
They silently prayed for Rev. J. B. Chiotti, Rev. Francis Bredestege, Rev. J. McFarland, Msg. Giles Alias, Rev. Vincent Graglia, Rev. Dennis Engelhard, Rev. Edwin Auweiler, Rev. Mathias Heile and especially Rev. Joseph Klein O.F.M. who was Pastor of San Antonio Italian Church (1933-1936) who passed away in 1938. Beloved Fr. Joe had started the San Antonio Church Choir who then sponsored the 1st Spaghetti Dinner in 1936. Members of the Choir stated: “And as he looks down from his Saintly place in Heaven, may he see that we have never forgotten and never intend to forget, our beloved Father Joseph.” As we celebrated our Mass on this 82nd Anniversary Sunday, remember to thank God, St. Anthony, Sr. Blandina Segale, Servant of God and all the Saints we have prayed to and petitioned for the health and good fortune of our beautiful little church.
Today we light the second purple candle, the Bethlehem Candle which represents Peace as the reading tell of Christ’s Birth in a Manger. In this 2nd week of Advent, Peace is thought to be the main focus. When the angels appeared to the shepherds, at the end of their message they said: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth Peace to those whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). In Hebrew, the word for Peace is Shalom. Next week please bring in our baby Jesus’ from our home creche’s for a blessing on Bambinelli Sunday. In Rome, our Holy Father, Pope Francis will also bless all the baby Jesus brought from nativity Scenes on this Gaudete or Rose Sunday.