Our History

 

historic-church-Saint-AnthonySaint Anthony Church’s rich history began in 1859 when the Archbishop of San Francisco created a new parish in the little quicksilver mining community of New Almaden. The first Saint Anthony Church, or the Little Church, was erected on Mine Hill under the guardianship of Father Picardo. That church later burned down and a second was built in its place, which was also destroyed by fire. The third church was erected on the Mine Hill site in 1885. It served the community of miners for many years, but when the vein of the quicksilver mines was lost, the church was torn down in 1912. The church on Mine Hill was three miles away, and in 1899 Senora Guadalupe Matera, a widow and proprietress of the Hacienda boardinghouse made a vow that if her son Tony returned safely from the Spanish-American War, she would do all she could to have a church built closer to the Hacienda. Senora Madera raised the money to build the church and the Quicksilver Mining Company donated the land. Saint Anthony Church was built on its present site in 1899. Antonio Madera, for whom the church was named, returned safely from the war and attended the new church with his mother. In token of thanksgiving, Senora Madera and her son proceeded from the church door to the communion rail on their knees.

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Until 1963, Saint Anthony Church was cared for by Saint Joseph’s Parish, and later by Saint Patrick’s Parish of the Diocese of San Jose. Members of Holy Spirit Parish took over its care in 1963. In June, 1975, Fr. Thomas McMahon became the first Administrator of Saint Anthony Church.  Fr. Leonel Noia became the first Pastor of Saint Anthony Church when our community became a parish on March 11, 1982.  The Church on McKean Road was completed in 1994 and dedicated by Bishop Pierre DuMaine under the pastorship of Fr. Robert Hayes.  Our present Pastor is Father Larry Hendel.

Past Pastors

Rev. Thomas S. Mc Mahon,  from 1975-1979 Rev. Robert E. Hayes, from 1986-1997
Rev. James Maher, in 1980 Rev. George Mancha, from 1997-2005
Rev. Kieran L. Murray, from 1980-1982 Rev. V. Warwick James, from 2005-2006
Rev. Leonel C. Noia, from 1982-1986 Rev. Lawrence M. Hendel, from 2006