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St Anthony celebrated across Sydney

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St Anthony of Padua feast day celebrations in Austral. Photo: Mat De Sousa.

St Anthony of Padua is well known for finding things that have been lost, but Catholics across Sydney had no trouble finding a parish to celebrate the saint’s feast.  

Fr Ronnie Maree led the festivities at St Anthony of Padua’s Austral on Sunday 16 June, while St Anthony’s Summer Hill concluded a week’s worth of celebrations in honour of the beloved Franciscan saint.  

In his homily, Fr Ronnie touched on St Anthony’s attraction to Catholics in a modern world devoid of meaning. 

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“From now until the day we die, we must be people open to the truth that God clearly speaks to us,” Fr Ronnie said. 

“As a parish we turn 60 years old next year … and if we wish to be worthy of continuing our community under St Anthony’s name, we must have a proclamation of the truth at the core of our mission.  

“We can have the best buildings, the shiniest facilities, the best institutions, but if we don’t proclaim the Gospel, we are useless. 

“St Anthony of Padua is our great patriot. He calls us to be people open to the truth, to be people willing to share that life-giving, life-saving truth with others.” 

St Anthony - The Catholic weekly
St Anthony of Padua feast day celebrations in Summer Hill. Photo: Ivica Kovac.

Fr Ronnie blessed baskets of bread as is tradition on the feast and lead the final procession with the statue of St Anthony and parishioners, before a celebration with food, music and entertainment. 

Over in Summer Hill, Sydney’s Croatian community prepared with a triduum ahead of the solemnity with devotional prayers, anointing of the sick, Franciscan rosaries and stations of the cross.

More than 800 people across generations in the Inner West, North Shore, Eastern suburbs, Shire, Wollongong and Berala and Lidcombe areas came together in the small church to celebrate their largest saint. 

“I’m inspired by St Anthony’s way of living both a life of contemplation and action—one is an expression of his love for God and the other an expression of his love for God’s people, our own neighbours,” said parent Ante Martić. 

“Just as St Anthony’s simple way of living has influenced me in charitable works, I too hope to lead by example for my kids and the young generation.” 

Ivica Kovac, Life Marriage and Family Officer with the Archdiocese of Sydney, said the Croatian community’s love for St Anthony, whom they regard as the pioneer of faith in their homeland, made his feast like “grand final week.” 

“Outside of Christmas and Easter, this week is like no other week. It’s a time that’s really rich devotionally and also in communal gathering,” Ivica said. 

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