Hundreds turned out on a sunny, Sunday afternoon June 23 to join together in the celebration of Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Parma as the parish marked the 60th anniversary of its founding. Bishop Nelson Perez celebrated Mass, which was concelebrated by Father Dale Staysniak, pastor, and Father Daniel Samide, parochial vicar. Parish Deacon Gerard Blanda assisted.
Founding members of the parish were seated in the first pew as Bishop Perez broke open the sacred Scriptures and shared through his homily how the Eucharist is the reason for the existence of the parish itself. “Put your eyes on the Eucharist. We cannot do without the celebration of the Eucharist,” the bishop said on the day when the worldwide Church marked the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Remarking on the mystery and constancy of the Eucharist, the bishop said that the Church has a long history and that there have been many popes and events in the life of the universal Church but “the only thing that does not change is the Eucharist, the Eucharistic presence of Christ.”
Father Staysniak thanked the bishop for his presence at the celebration and the bishop in turn thanked those gathered for their support of the parish now and into the future. The choir led a rousing rendition of “One Spirit, One Church” as the closing processional took place. Refreshments were served at a reception in the parish community room after the celebration. Bishop Perez greeted worshippers in the parish narthex.
On July 4, 1959, Archbishop Edward R Hoban canonically established St. Anthony of Padua Parish as part of the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart. Father Jeremy Fisher, O.F.M. was appointed founding pastor and arrived in Cleveland from St. Peter's in Chicago on June 27 of that year.