Centennial Celebration of St. Anthony Catholic School building!
It is a historical moment in the life of the St. Anthony Catholic Parish community. The cornerstone for St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and School, the landmark of Park Falls, was laid on September 4, 1921. The new St. Anthony Church and School building was completed and Blessed in the Fall of 1922.
We all painfully remember the closing of the school in 2017. Since then we are constantly talking about the future of the building. Many people came and looked at the building, for apartments, a community center, YMCA, and so on. The majority of them looked at the building to make apartments. So far we haven't made a final decision, we are still open to new ideas.
In August, at our combined Parish and Finance Council meeting, we came up with a plan to celebrate the historic 100th anniversary of our original Church and school building. We are planning to form a committee for a year of preparation to celebrate the 100th year anniversary and have an active planning year for the future of the building. The closing of the historic celebration of the 100th anniversary will be next June 2022 in conjunction with the Feast of St. Anthony. We are planning to collect historical pictures, and the history of the original Church and School building for the celebration and have an open house. We are also planning to have a pictorial directory of the parish and include all the history of St. Anthony Church and School.
If you are interested in joining the planning committee, please call Fr. Shaji at 715-762-4494 Ext. 2. If you have creative ideas for our school building and are willing to join us for the planning, we are open to listen and take it to further discussion. Our goal is to make the best decision for our school building by the centennial celebration in June 2022. Our first request is your prayer. Please pray for this intention this coming year. We will inform you as it progresses. Stay tuned. Thank you!
Ephphatha, Be Opened….
This weekends readings for this weekend reminds us that God is with us always, be open to his presence, his Word, his blessings. The first reading from the book of Isaiah tells the Israelites that God will save them, and the blind, the lame, deaf, and dumb will be healed; the parched ground will become a pool (Isaiah 35:4-7). Isaiah told his people not to be afraid, and it is repeated in the Bible. We read in the book of Zachariah 8:13, “Just as you became a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you that you may be a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.” The restoration of Jerusalem is compared to the Exodus from Egypt into the promised land. The physical healing and prosperity will mark the renewal of the land of the chosen people. The ultimate fulfillment takes place in Jesus. We see the fulfillment of this passage in the Gospel (Mark 7:31-37). We can read the same passage in the Gospel of Matthew 15:29-31. We see a couple of gestures in the Gospel. Jesus put his finger into the man’s ears, spitting, touching his tongue, etc. Throughout the Gospel, we can see Jesus using the signs: touch, laying on hands, water, washing, mud, and so on. These signs laid the foundation for the Seven Sacraments, through the outward sign bringing the sanctifying grace. In the Gospel, Jesus healed the man who was deaf by uttering the word “ephphatha”, Aramaic word for “be opened.” Jesus opened his ears to hear God's Word. In the rite of Baptism, the priest/deacon will say the Ephphetha Prayer, the Prayer over Ears and Mouth. The minister touches the ears and the mouth of the baby and says: “The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father. Amen.”
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in Christ and continues through the Church today. Let us be open to his presence, his Word, and his Blessings. He is with us!