St. Anthony’s Church, behind City Hall, was founded in 1891 by the Scalabrini Fathers and is known as the Mother Church of Western New York’s Italian community. It was the first Italian-Catholic Church in Buffalo, and in the late 1800s it assisted many Italian immigrants settling here from Italy and Sicily.
It is one of the unique Catholic churches in the Diocese of Buffalo, that has various processions of the Virgin Mary and various saints during the liturgical year, and it also provides special societal Masses.
I firmly believe that if more Italians knew about the great things going on at St. Anthony’s Church they would attend more of their Italian Masses and participate more in the processions they have around Niagara Square.
As we all know, our Italian brothers and sisters who once overflowed the area of the West Side once known as Buffalo’s “Little Italy,” which housed most of the newly arrived Italian immigrants. Today, however, those families have now spread their Italian roots from the city to Buffalo’s suburbs and beyond.
So, I am encouraging everyone (Italian and non-Italians) to come out to participate in the Masses and processions at Saint Anthony’s Church. We need to continue to feed our souls with the beauty of participating in these faith-filled processions.
Robin A. Carlisi