Children of sunny Italy had their homes in Buffalo more than thirty years ago, but they did not form a distinctive part of the Church in the diocese until the Rev. Dr. Quigley, rector St. Joseph's Cathedral, organized them into a congregation. Before Dr. Quigley organized them into a quasi-parochial body, Mrs. Roffo watched over their spiritual interests with the solicitude of a spiritual sponsor; and when the hour of sickness came she would seek the Rev. Thomas Dohohue, or one of the Italian priests at St. Patrick's, to administer the sacraments to her fellow countrymen.
The subject of an Italian parish had been discussed and subscription lists had been signed about the year 1880; but nothing further was done until Dr. Quigley, under the direction of Bishop Ryan, assembled the Italians every Sunday in the chapel adjoining the cathedral, where services were held for them and they listened to instructions in their own tongue. The congregation grew apace, and it was soon evident that a large church would be necessary. Property on Court Street was bought; and the building was begun in 1891, and the cornerstone was laid on August 3rd of the same year by Bishop Ryan. The church was ready for services by Christmas, and the Rev. A. Gibelli was appointed its first pastor. Father Gibelli remained two years, when the Rev. G. Annovazzi came for a few months until the Rev. L. Martinelli was appointed pastor. A school taught by the Ladies of the Sacred Heart was started on the first floor of the church, and it was crowded with bright Italian children. Many Italian children attend Public School No. 2, where their educational progress and religious instruction are fostered by Principal C. L. Ryan, who is president of the Italian Borromeo Club.
There are many religious societies connected with St. Anthony's Church, and there are several benevolent societies in the Italian colony; and these are aiding in making of the Italians good citizens of the State and faithful children of the Church.
St. Anthony's Church, remodeled, was reopened the 23rd of October,
1904. Bishop Colton blessed the completed church September 30,
1906. The Rev. Angelo Strazzoni had charge from January, 1907.
A fine school was erected in 1911 and opened January, 1912.
Father Strazzoni was made Provincial of the Order called Scallabrese
December, 1919. He was succeeded by the Rev. Arnold Vanoli in
1925. The parish club is prominent in the social life of the
city. The Rev. Charles Rossi had charge for some time and was
succeeded in May, 1927, by the Rev. Joseph Foriero, P S. S. D.,
as pastor of St. Anthony's.
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