News from San Antonio Church – October 8, 2023

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Weekly Bulletin October 8, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday, our San Antonio Church community celebrates another milestone in the history of our parish, our 87th Annual Spaghetti Dinner.  In the 1930’s our church was located in a temporary 2nd floor meeting and convention hall when the Catholics living in the “Little Italy”  section of South Fairmount were coming together to not only worship; but establish their families in an area where telephone and light poles were now part of the neighborhood scenery and White Street was now a paved road.  Our parish priest was Franciscan Joseph Klein who took on many tasks to give our little house of worship a new facelift.  After a new altar and communion rail was installed, he promoted our church societies to help with the needs of the parish by offering English classes for those seeking citizenship.  In 1934, Fr. Joseph along with Miss Rosemary Ebertz, organist, and musical director, worked to form the San Antonio Church Choir and 2 years later in 1936, those dedicated choir members sponsored the 1st Spaghetti Dinner that was prepared and served by our grandparents and many members of our present-day San Antonio Families.  We remember all those founding church families and thank all those new generations who have stepped up to plan our annual event and who are working this Sunday on our 101st Church Anniversary and our 87th Annual Spaghetti Dinner.  Benedict and Mangia!

On Monday, October 9th we celebrate the 531st anniversary of Columbus’s first historic voyage.  Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451, took to the sea at age 14, and at 41 years of age made his 1st voyage on August 3, 1492.  He read about astronomy, geography and history and learned Latin, Portuguese and Castilian before completing four round trip voyages between Spain and the Americas during the years 1492 and 1504.  Those voyages sponsored by the Crown of Castile initiated European exploration and the Columbian Exchange.  The Columbian Exchange established the transfer of ideas and people between the Old World and the New World as a result of his first voyage.  The results of the exchange of animals, plants, mineral wealth, and technologies lead to globalization along with commercial, economic, social, and political changes.  Since the 18th century, many large celebrations to observe the Discovery of the New World were held for Columbus’ Day, originated by those of Italian Americans because of the explorers’ origins to Italy.  Along with the Italian, Jewish and Irish immigrants who settled in the United States, many claim Christopher Columbus as an ethnic founding father.  Some Americans will honor this day, the anniversary of the discovery of their country with church services and planned activities. 

The 1st Columbus Day celebration was in 1792 when New York’s Columbian Order (Tammany Hall) commemorated the historic landings 300th Anniversary.  In the 1890s to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Columbus’ Voyage; in 1893, a fair was planned with many outdoor displays covering over 690 acres.  In 1892,  President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging everyone to celebrate this day with patriotic festivities saying, “On that day, let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discover and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.”  In 1893, the Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago to mark the 400th Anniversary of Columbus voyage.  The fair included life size reproductions of Christopher Columbus’ three ships, the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria to honor the discovery of the Americas.  There were 34 United States who had their own pavilions and 4 United States territories, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah who had their own pavilions located in one large building.  There were 46 countries represented who had their own pavilions with many interesting displays.  A sailing ship from Norway, the “Viking” crossed the Atlantic with   Captain Magnus Andersen and a 12-man crew for the Columbian Exposition with the historic ship now located in Geneva, Illinois and open to visitors.  The Columbian Exposition issued postage stamps, books and tokens that became quite collectible along with photographs and admission tickets with the United States Mint offering its 1st commemorative coins, the Columbian Exposition quarter dollar and the Columbian half dollar. 

The 1st Columbus Day holiday was held in San Francisco in 1869 with the 1st statewide celebration being held in Colorado in 1907 when Angelo Noce, a 1st generation American of Italian descent, worked to make this day a legal holiday.  In 1937, it became a Federal Holiday when President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday.  The Knights of Columbus, the Catholic fraternal organization held an intense campaign to promote the national holiday even promoting canonization for Christopher Columbus.  In 1966, Buffalo, New York resident, Mariano Lucca founded the National Columbus Day Committee working to make Columbus Day a Federal Holiday with then President Lyndon Johnson signing the legislation in 1968 with it becoming effective in 1971.  Since 2004, Columbus Day has been annually celebrated in Italy with the official name for the day Giotnata nazionale di Christoforo Columbo “National Christopher Columbus Day” and in the town square located in Genoa, Italy there is a large monument dedicated to him.   

Our San Antonio Church community sends condolences and prayers to the Franciscan Community on the passing of Father Daniel “Dan” Anderson O.F.M. who died on Monday, September 25, 2023, at the St. Francis Seraph Friary.  He was a graduate of Roger Bacon High School class of 1965 and after graduating college in 1970 with a degree in philosophy, professed solemn vows on September 9, 1971.  Fr. Dan was ordained to the priesthood on March 26, 1976, at St Francis Seraph Church where he was a teacher.    He took courses at Notre Dame and would teach Speech, English and Theatre while developing the school’s theatre program at Roger Bacon and while also becoming the Chaplain at Saint Ursula Academy.  Fr. Dan inspired many students with his love for theatre and they will never forget how his dedication inspired them through every performance.  He became the audiotape editor for the St. Anthony Messenger Magazine, Associate Pastor at St, George Parish and Newman Center as the Provincial Archivist and Librarian.  At the time of his passing Fr. Dan was serving as the Secretary for St. John the Baptist Province.  Fr. Dan Anderson leaves many relatives and friends who will mourn his passing.  He is also survived by his friends from the Franciscan Order Community:  Fr. Jim Bok, OFM, Fr. Matthias Crehan, OFM, Fr. Larry Dunham, OFM, Fr. Pat McCloskey, OFM, Fr. Ricardo Russo, OFM, and Br. George Ward, OFM.   His funeral Mass was held St. Clement Church on Tuesday, October 3rd with burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery.  Please remember the O’Shea, Anderson, Steele, Mitchell, and Brinson families in your prayers at this difficult time.

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