If only Rev. St. Aubin, St. Anthony of Padua Mission's first pastor, could see his mission church now he would marvel at its growth from a few families in 1862 to over 500 families currently.
St. Anthony parish emerged in the thick of a staunchly Scottish settlement with the few Catholic families that were among the first settlers along the Penetangore River. On May 18, 1858, a parcel of land was purchased, on what is now Princes Street South and in 1862 the first St. Anthony of Padua mission church was erected. Its pastor was the Rev. St. Aubin.
In 1877, Rev. John Corcoran became the parish priest of Riversdale and several mission churches including St. Anthony. He held this office for 32 years. Every fifth Sunday he came to Kincardine to say Mass. By 1897, the number of Catholic families had decreased to the point that Father Corcoran found it necessary to close the church after which the remaining Catholics had to travel to Holyrood, Riversdale or Chepstow. Ultimately the St. Anthony church was torn down in 1923.
Later that year an attempt was made to revive the mission church of Kincardine using the Town Hall. Mass was offered on two Sundays of each month but eventually it was found necessary to cancel the services.
It wasn't until 1944 that Mass was said again in Kincardine. During the six years, 1944 to 1950, Mass was said by the pastor of the Riversdale church, Rev. J. Leavy, initially in private homes and later in the Capital Theatre.
Under the direction of Rev. J. Meyer, and with a lot of the work being done by the members, another church was completed on Huron Terrace and dedicated in July 1950.
As the parish community continued to grow Rev. L. Barry had an addition built behind the church doubling the seating capacity. Rev. W. Zettel and Rev. A. O'Linsky served the mission in a period that saw the congregation grow even more.
In June 1974, the Most Reverend P. Reding, Bishop of Hamilton, gave St. Anthony the full status of Parish. Rev. M. Grogan became Kincardine's first resident priest and lived in a home adjoining the church property
In 1976, the diocese purchased the property on Russell Street to serve as a future site for a church.
In 1979 Rev. J. Malone established a building committee to study the feasibility of building a new church and by the fall of 1980, the committee presented its findings to the Bishop with construction beginning in August of 1983. Our first celebration of the Eucharist was Midnight Mass 1983. The formal dedication took place on Sunday, January 15, 1984 with Bishop Anthony Tonnos officiating.
In January of 1989 the Sanctuary of the Church was completed and the installation of stained glass windows was completed in November 1995.
In 2000, our Pastor, Father Ed Hinsperger was assigned the additional responsibilities as pastor of Sacred Heart, Teeswater and their Mission, St. Ann, Riversdale. This arrangement continues today with our pastor ministering to the individual needs of each Catholic community including weekday and weekend Masses for each parish.
Father (DR.) Thomas Manninezhath, CMI - Biography
St Anthony's Church is located at 749 Russell Street, just West of Hwy 21
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