History of the Church of St. Anthony

  • 1920

    Mr. And Mrs. John Schwartz donate land for a new parish that would be called Saint Anthony of Padua at the request of Mrs. Schwartz. Bishop Busch appoints Father Frederick Hinnenkamp as the first pastor.

  • 1921

    A frame church is erected, and the former Jefferson School is purchased and moved onto the property. Christian Mothers is organized and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary is sought, even to this day.

  • 1922

    The growing school enrollment (175 students) forces the construction of a $15,000 basement church. The frame building becomes a school.

  • 1927

    The Catholic Aid Council is established in St. Anthony's and continues its charitable work to this day.

  • 1928

    Eight classrooms are built around the basement church. A parish hall is created in the space over the church. A bowling alley is installed on one side and a school lunchroom on the other. The total cost is $73,000.

  • 1935

    Father Bernard Wildenborg is appointed pastor.

  • 1938

    The rectory is purchased for $3,500.

  • 1949

    There are 500 families in the parish and 510 children in the grade school.

  • 1950

    Eight more classrooms are added to the 1928 structure and the room above the church is converted into a gymnasium.

  • 1953

    The Holy Name Society is organized. Out of this grew the Do-Dads, a group of men who gave of their time and talent to keep the buildings in good repair.

  • 1956

    Construction of a new parish convent is completed.

  • 1958

    The old frame building (white building) that had served as a church, school, social hall, and storage area is remodeled and becomes a school once again.

  • 1961

    School enrollment at St. Anthony's is 855.

  • 1968

    Father Thomas Meyer succeeds Monsignor Wildenborg as pastor. There was talk of building a new church, but it did not get beyond the talking stage. Instead the church was remodeled.

  • 1969

    Parish Council is formed to give the lay people an active voice in the church. The parish was divided into twenty areas for the purpose of welcoming new people into the parish and to serve funeral dinners.

  • 1970

    The 50th Anniversary of the parish is celebrated. There are now over 1200 families in the parish.

  • 1972

    Father Mark Willenbring becomes pastor. The Religious Education Program is developed for students attending public schools.

  • 1974

    The church interior is remodeled and modernized. St. Anthony's is the first church in St. Cloud to be air-conditioned. The original bowling alley is removed and a community room is built.

  • 1976

    St. Anthony Men's' Breakfast Group is formed to hold a monthly breakfast as a community-building parish social and as a fund raiser.

  • 1977

    Father Greg Lieser is appointed pastor.

  • 1978

    Pews, carpet, and paint give people of St. Anthony's another reason to be proud of their church.

  • 1988

    Father Robert Harren becomes pastor. There are now 1400 families in the parish.

  • 1994

    An elevator is installed. A new fire alarm system is installed and the bathrooms renovated.

  • 1995

    Out of a need for more prayer, more quiet, for a more spiritual existence, not only for themselves, but for the entire world, a perpetual adoration chapel was opened. This continues to be open to people from all over St. Cloud and the surrounding areas, Catholic and non-Catholics alike.

    The 75th Anniversary of the parish is celebrated - an adventure that this Community of Faith has lived throughout the past 75 years and which their descendants will continue to live in a changing world and church.

    A long range parish planning committee is formed to assess future parish needs and to propose ways to meet those needs. Three needs are identified: a community center, a larger worship and offices for the parish staff.

  • 1996

    Part of the playground is sold and the proceeds invested for the building fund.; Grooters, Leapaldt, and Tideman architectural firm is selected to help plan for a parish building needs.

  • 1997

    Parish survey is conducted and additional input from parishioners confirms the need for identified parish space. In part the need for a larger worship space is validated by the clear forecast of only one priest here with the result that the number of Masses would be reduced. Most parishioners feel that the present worship would provide and adequate community center with a complete kitchen.

  • 1998

    Donlar Construction Company is selected as contractor. There are 1424 families in the parish.

  • 2000

    August 6th, groundbreaking ceremony for new church. November 20th, release of new compact Disc to commemorate the building of the new church "Born this Christmas Day" by parish.

  • 2001

    June 24th, First Mass in the new church. August 1st, remodeling of old worship space for new parish center. September 23, New Church Dedication. November 20th, release of new compact disc to commemorate the completion of the new church "Come into the Light" by parish musicians. December 20th, school children's Christmas pageant in the new parish center. First event held in the new parish center.

To browse the events in the timeline, click on the orange arrow (>) above.