Pastoral Response Assistance Team, Inc.
9 Kinsman Place
Natick, Massachusetts  01760-2732
(508) 650-1811
Fax (508) 650-3621
 

                     St. Anthony Our Patron Saint

    

St. Anthony of Padua whose feast day is June 13th, was born in 1182 in Portugal.  At age 15, he entered an Augustinian seminary run by an elderly priest, who was eventually excommunicated for sins including various forms of sexual abuse.

Anthony later joined the Franciscans.

St. Anthony has long been the Patron Saint of the poor and “finder of lost things”.

In 1994, while writing her book Saint Anthony Words of Fire, Life of Light, author Madeline Pecora Nugent contacted Pastoral Response Assistance Team Director Tom Carr who happens to be an expert in sexual abuse.  Madeline was considering including a chapter in her book entitled Lesson From Our Fathers, which ultimately was not included in the final printing.  She sought Tom’s counsel in understanding sexual abuse, which she later acknowledged, along with the work of Sister Katherine Donnelly, when he book was first published in 1995.

In her research on St. Anthony of Padua, Madeline discovered that “sexual abuse by the clergy has, unfortunately, been going on for centuries”.  She also found that St. Anthony spoke out against this abuse.

As a result Madleline began efforts to make Anthony the patron saint for those effected by clergy sexual abuse.  While she was distressed about the fact that some were concerned that the association with the crisis would somehow “tarnish” the reputation of St. Anthony, Madeline pointed out the tremendous opportunity of having the “powerful intercessor” St. Anthony, to help the church deal with this very real crisis, and the lost faith and trust that had resulted from this abuse.

Slowly but surely the idea has gained some attention.  Every once in awhile we hear from reporters doing stories about this movement, and we are glad to talk to them about this effort.

The book Saint Anthony Words of Fire, Life of Light by Madeline Pecora Nugent, SFO is available through: http://www.pauline.org/store/moreinfo/0819869848.html