Parish History


Church on Huron Terrace 1950

  St.Anthony of Padua Church Mission 1862

St. Anthony of Padua 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. The ebb and flow of St. Anthony’s Parish through history is interesting and fascinating. It has a story of bright and dark, promising, and upsetting moments.  The story started with the purchase of a parcel of land on May 18, 1858 on what is now called Princes Street South.  In 1862 the first St. Anthony of Padua mission church was erected, and its pastor was the Rev. J. St. Aubin. The mission church started with a few families in 1862 has now over 900 families coming from various cultural backgrounds.

A change took place in 1877 when Rev. John Corcoran became the parish priest of Riversdale and several mission churches including St. Anthony. With this change the celebration of Holy Mass was only on every fifth Sunday in Kincardine. 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 church was torn down in 1923. Tearing down the mission church in 1923 was not the end of building up the House of God.  Later that year an attempt was made to revive the mission church of Kincardine using the Town Hall (the existing Kincardine Centre for the Arts, on the corner of Queen Street and Durham Market). Mass was offered on two Sundays of each month but eventually it was found necessary to cancel the services.

We believe in Divine Providence and we are a people living in hope. Celebration of Holy Mass was revived in 1944. During the six years, from 1944 to 1950, Rev. J. Leavy, the pastor of the Riversdale church celebrated Mass, initially in private homes and later in the Capital Theatre (the former Aztec Theatre, on the corner of Queen and Durham Street). A new church under the direction of Rev. J. Meyer was completed on Huron Terrace (the location of present West 21, 952 Huron Terrace) and dedicated in July 1950. Rev. L. Barry had an addition built behind the church doubling the seating capacity. Rev. Wilbert A. Zettel and Rev. Alistair Olinsky served the mission in a period that saw the steady growth of the congregation.

The year 1974 witnessed another historic development in the history of this growing church. The Most Reverend Paul Reding, Bishop of Hamilton, gave St. Anthony of Padua the full status of a Parish.  Rev. M. Grogan C. S. Sp. (1971- 79), a Holy Ghost Father, became the first resident priest of St. Anthony and lived in a home on Broadway Street that backed onto the rear of the Church’s Huron Terrace property. The growth of this Parish since 1976 was momentous. Looking ahead of the promising future of Kincardine, the diocese purchased the property on Russell Street to serve as a future site for a church. In 1979 Rev. James H. Malone (1979-85) 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 and the construction of the new Church was begun in August 1983. For a short period of time during construction, Sunday Mass was celebrated in the gymnasium of St. Anthony’s School.

The formal dedication of the church took place on Sunday, January 15, 1984 with Bishop Anthony Tonnos officiating. During the time of Rev. James Curtin, the new Pastor (1985-91), the Sanctuary of the Church was completed (January 1989) and the installation of stained glass windows was completed in November 1995 during the time of Rev. Edward G. Hinsperger (1991-2003).  In 2000, the pastor of St. Anthony was assigned the additional responsibilities as pastor of Sacred Heart, Teeswater and their Mission, St. Ann, Riversdale. It was continued during the time of Rev. Wayne L. Lobsinger (2003 -2005) and Rev. Donald B. Wilhelm (2005-2013). When Priests were available for the pastoral needs of the people of Sacred Heart and St. Ann in 2008, St. Anthony’s discontinued its pastoral assistance to those churches. St. Anthony of Padua Church founded in 1858 on the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County with the sole aim of establishing a stable community of the faithful and attending to the pastoral needs of the expanding Kincardine faith community was continued through Rev. Peter Jurzyk (2013 - 2016) and this ecclesial community is alive with the present pastor Rev. Dr. Thomas Manninezhath, CMI (2016 -).

The legacy of the past will be the strength to live, encounter, and respond to the present needs of the community of believers and move ahead leaning on rock - solid trust in the promises of the Lord to His Church and the faithful and, in the power of the intercession of Mary, our Mother and St. Anthony of Padua, our Patron Saint.

                                                                                                     Church 1

St. Anthony of Padua Parish 2017