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La Festa e La Chiesa di Sant’Antonio

This year’s St. Anthony Feast promises to be larger, more welcoming, and more feast and fest than in recent years. The popularity of this event has given rise to expanded offerings following the Mass and procession that are reminiscent of years ago. The St. Anthony Feast Committee has been meeting steadily since the beginning of the year planning events to fill the day from immediately after the first Mass of the day at 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. This year’s food offerings will be as diverse as the parishioners, and include Italian, Mexican and African-American fare. The price is right, and the food promises to be an outstanding treat.

Hopefully, June 9 will be one of those beautiful Chicago days where everyone will want to make use of the shade in the beer tent, where there will be plenty of offerings to quench everyone’s thirst. Of course, there will be opportunities to purchase raffle tickets or take part in other games of chance.

There will also be game and other entertainment geared specifically towards the children. It will be a good opportunity to show your children and grandchildren where you went to church and where you received that outstanding Catholic education that has served you so well in your life.

I’m sure that Roselandites that attended the April 27th Alumni Reunion will agree that St. Anthony’s can still throw one heck of a feast, a lot like it did when we were students and full-time parishioners. I hope to see many of you there, and that you will stop me and say hello at whatever job I’ve volunteered for that day.

Last year’s fest procession was particularly interesting and humorous. When our pastor, the Rev. Mark Krylowicz asked for volunteers to help carry the statue of San Antonio back in church, I stepped up. As I was helping to carry the statue, some of the young men jumped in to help me out. Apparently they thought me to be a little too old to carry such a weight. Little did they know that my strength came from being thankful for all of the good things St. Anthony’s Parish has brought into my family’s life.

While we are on the topic of St. Anthony, Steve Trombello (Fenger ’68) and his wife Sandy were in Italy and made it a point to take a side trip to the actual Basilica di San Antonio Padova. Steve was kind enough to a copy of the Liturgy of the Mass from the Basilica and gave me photos along with the mass book.

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Construction on St. Anthony’s Basilica began just after the saint’s death on June 13, 1231 and, with the help of artists throughout the centuries, it has become a treasure trove of art. In addition, the body of St. Anthony was laid to rest at the basilica so that the faithful can pray to the saint.

The many paintings throughout the basilica include works from the 14th century from the Giotto School and, in the courtyard, the “Oratory of St. George.” The 15th century is represented by the beautiful sculptures created by Donatello for the high altar. In the 16th century, Renaissance artists renovated the Saint’s Chapel with frescos and reliefs. The 18th century saw the addition of marble sculptures and a painting by Giambetta Tiepolo in the treasury chapel.

From 1979 to 1985, a cycle of paintings by Pietro Annigoni was commissioned and completed. Among his works is a magnificent “Last Supper,” which he painted in the refectory, or dining room, of the friary. If you have occasion to visit the basilica of San Antonio di Padova, just inside above the Basilica’s main door you will notice a large fresco depicting Saint Anthony preaching from a leafy walnut tree. This fresco was completed in 1985 by Annigoni.

It was obvious to me, that Steve was deeply moved by the visit to the patron saint of his childhood. It was especially gratifying to receive the information Steve brought back to share with his fellow Roselandites and St. Anthony parishioners of years gone by.

In Memoriam

Elmer W. Bauer Jr., 82; resident of Crete, formerly of Chicago’s Historic Pullman neighborhood; husband for 57 years of Joan nee Carli; retired Chicago firefighter; founding member of the Spaghetti-Os … Angeline DalSanto, 91; lifelong Roseland resident; retired from United Air Cleaner … Richard C. “Dick” Dudley Jr.; 88; resident of Dyer, formerly of South Holland and Roseland; husband of Antoniette “Toni: nee Gentile.

Contact CJ Martello at 11403 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60628; cjfranoi@yahoo.com; or leave message at 773-701-6756; Or visit Roseland Roundtable on Facebook.

About C.J. Martello

CJ Martello has returned to his roots as the author of “Petals from Roseland.” After five years of writing his column as a resident of Chicago's North Side, CJ put his money where his heart is and moved to Pullman, near the Roseland area in which he grew up. Having joined the Spaghetti-Os, Veneti nel Mondo and St. Anthony of Padua Parish and being one of the founders of the Roseland Roundtable Facebook page, CJ has become reacquainted with countless friends and acquaintances from his youth. CJ is looking forward to retirement and completing the books he has put on hold, including one that will encompass as much of Roseland's rich, beloved history as possible.