Mass Schedule Saturday: 4:00 pm
Sunday: 8:30am & 11:00am
Holy Days: 4:00 & 7:00 pm
St. Anthony of Padua parish had its beginnings in 1908, when a small group of local Slovak residents from the Webster/Dudley area formed an organization called the St. Anthony Society. Their goal was to establish a Slovak parish and church in the area. In 1912, the St. Anthony Society obtained ownership of the former Universalist Church located on School Street in Webster. However, the future St. Anthony of Padua parish had to wait another 5 years for the assignment of its first pastor, the Rev. Paul Herman, in 1917. Also at this time, a School Street house adjoining the church was purchased as a residence for the new pastor.
The first Masses were celebrated by Father Herman in the basement of the church building, while the upper floor was undergoing a complete renovation. Father Herman retired as pastor in 1924 and was succeeded by the Rev. Stephen Seci. The parish prospered under Father Seci and, in 1925, purchased a second School Street house, with the idea of one day establishing a parish school. Father Seci retired in 1931 and was succeeded by the Rev. John Plavcan, who served as pastor until 1933. Between 1933 and 1935, several different priests served the needs of the parish.
In June of 1935, the Rev. Joseph A. Ferenz was ordained to the priesthood and shortly thereafter became pastor of St. Anthony of Padua parish, a post he held until his retirement in 1982. Under the leadership of Father Ferenz, the parish properties expanded and underwent improvements. In 1948, land was purchased on Worcester Road for the establishment of St. Anthony's Cemetery. Also in the late 1940's, the second house on School Street was converted into a convent and school, where a group of Fransiscan nuns taught students of the new St. Anthony's parish school. In 1952, a brick school building was constructed at the rear of the parish property.
By the late 1960's, the growing parish faced a major decision - - should they renovate the little wooden church on School Street, replace it with a new building on the same site, or build a new church at some other location? A decision was made to build a new church and Bishop Flanagan announced that the new church would be built in Dudley. Farmland was purchased on Dudley Hill Road and groundbreaking took place on July 4, 1970. The beautiful new church was dedicated on October 3, 1971. Later a parish rectory was built adjacent to the church. The rectory was completed in 1982, at about the same time that Father Ferenz retired.
The next pastor of St. Anthony's was the Rev. J. Normand Tremblay, who served as pastor from 1982 until 1992. In July of 1992, the Rev. Paul Campbell was appointed pastor of St. Anthony's. After Twenty dedicated years at St. Anthony of Padua, Fr. Paul Campbell retired in June of 2012. Bishop Robert J. McManus has assigned Rev. Joseph A. Marcotte from St. Louis Church in Webster to St. Anthony of Padua after Twenty Eight years with St. Louis. Fr. Marcotte had been with St. Anthony's for Five years before retiring in June of 2017. In July of 2017 St. Anthony of Padua has been assigned pastor Michael J. Sheridan who is returning to active ministry. Fr. Michael Sheridan was ordained a priest by the Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan on April 25, 1975.
After Fr. Sheridan's retirement, Msgr. John E. Doran came out of retirement and served as our interim pastor. Bishop Robert J. McManus appointed Fr. Daniel Moreno as administrator to St. Anthony of Padua on July 1, 2018.
It has been over 100 years since the organization of the St. Anthony Society in 1908. In that time, St. Anthony's has grown to become a parish of 540 households encompassing a total of 1335 parishioners.