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St. Anthony's Church

Founding of

St. Anthony's Church







This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections Initiative, Industry Canada.


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The Founding of St. Anthony's Church

Extract from How the Italian Mission Was Founded.
By Rev. Father Fortunato, O.M.C.
From L’Angelo delle Famiglie, January-February 1930.

It was during the Paschal season of 1908 when several Italians came to me to Confession that I noticed that they had not sufficient knowledge of their Catechism, and I there and then made up my mind to instruct them. Among those whom I taught, I found a certain young man, seventeen years of age, named Domenico Nasso.

One day while giving my instructions, he interrupted me, and said, “Father, if I bring fifteen men here Easter Sunday, will you preach to us?”

“Most willingly,” said I, “but I must ask the permission of my Superior.” I submitted the proposition to Rev. Father Sebastien, at that time Superior of the Monastery of Ottawa, and he advised me to refer the matter to the Archbishop.

I did, and the result was the founding of the Mission, for the late Monseigneur Duhamel, who was then Archbishop said, “I have been thinking of this for some time, and now that you ask me, I give you permission not only to preach to them, but to baptize them and to marry them. May our Divine Lord bless your Ministery.”

Shortly afterwards, I visited all the families and on Easter Evening 150 Italians assisted at the ceremonies.

That happy day of April 19th, 1903, was indeed a day of Resurrection for the Italian population of Ottawa. These good people rose from death to life; they left the tomb of indifference for a life of religious practice.

On the same occasion the Scapulars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel were distributed to all who associated at the ceremonies and the Mission, being placed under the powerful protection of the Blessed Mother, was assured immunity from harm and was destined to become a citadel in which all virtues would be practised.

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