St. Anthony Parish History
ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1906, James O’Hara donated land to build a church in Oakley, on the southeast corner of 4th Street and Star, an area called “Spanish Town”. The Dominican Fathers, who offered the first Mass on December 4, 1908, were from the Antioch Parish. In 1925 St. Anthony Church was moved to O’Hara and Home Streets where the rectory was already located. St. Anthony, now a parish, including Byron and Brentwood, transferred from the Dominican’s to Secular Clergy. On Home Street the pedestal is still standing where a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary stood. The first Holy Ghost Festival was held in 1927, organized by Portuguese immigrants from the Azores.
Then in 1955, the property at O’Hara and Cypress was purchased for a new church. Construction started on February 12, 1955 under the direction of Monsignor Reali and included the church, hall and rectory. Parishioners volunteered their services to complete church construction, despite working full time at other jobs. His Excellency Bishop Donohue solemnly dedicated St. Anthony on December 4, 1955
Since the time the new church was completed, the parish has seen the confessional on the right side of the church modified into an alcove for Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Marian garden established in honor of Mary Mother of all Nations and the restoration of the altar, baptismal font, lectern and the back altar. The downstairs area has also been converted into individual classrooms.