St. Anthony, Bartonville to mark 50th anniversary with Mass, dinner June 8

Anniversary banners hang inside St. Anthony Church in Bartonville. A Mass celebrated by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and a dinner to follow on June 8 culminate the parish's celebration of its 50th anniversary.

BARTONVILLE — Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, will join members of St. Anthony Church on Saturday, June 8, as they celebrate their parish’s 50th anniversary.

A Mass of Thanksgiving is planned for 4:30 p.m. and will be concelebrated by Father David Heinz, pastor, along with previous pastors and visiting priests. A buffet dinner for those with reservations will follow in the parish hall.

The evening will end with reflections by Bishop Jenky, former pastors, and representatives of the parish.

The celebration will continue this summer when a time capsule containing historical items from the anniversary is buried. This will take place during a prayer service around the tree that was planted on May 27, 1971, the day the parish grounds were dedicated.

Among the items that will be placed in the time capsule are photos of the 2019 confirmation and First Communion classes, and copies of the “Founding Family Profiles” that were published and distributed throughout the year. Another special item will be a copy of the 50th anniversary prayer that was written by Faith Romanus, one of St. Anthony’s founders.


St. Anthony was established in 1969, after Catholics in Bartonville petitioned Bishop John B. Franz for a parish. Prior to that, they had been attending Mass at St. John or St. Boniface (now St. Ann) on Peoria’s south side.

Msgr. Dale Wellman was the founding pastor and the first Mass was celebrated on May 17, 1969, in the auditorium of the old Bartonville State Hospital. Meetings, choir rehearsals and planning sessions were held in homes, while religious education classes took place in rented rooms in an area church.

Construction of the liturgical center on 10 acres at 2525 S. Skyway Road began in May 1972. That building would be used for Mass, parish functions, and religious education classes until March 23, 1997, when a separate church building was dedicated.

St. Anthony Parish has reached beyond its own boundaries, helping Deacon Dick and Barb Hammond and Friends of the Children of Haiti build a medical mission in Cyvadier, Haiti. They have also celebrated by reaching out to those in need by participating in the Box of Joy project of Cross Catholic Outreach and Bag of Easter Gladness project.

Anniversary events have included a parish mission by Al Barbarino, and a parish retreat by Father Tom Donaldson.


St. Anthony Camerata Chorale Festival Choir will “Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord” on Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. The concert will be a tribute to St. Anthony Church, 2525 S. Skyway Road, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Directed by Mary Ann Fahey-Darling, the group includes singers from all over central Illinois and provides musical leadership for diocesan liturgies at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.

The concert will feature sacred classical and gospel music and audience sing-alongs. Highlights include Rutter’s “For the Beauty of the Earth,” Biebl’s “Ave Maria,” and Father James Marchionda’s “Basin Street Blues.”

There is no admission charge, but a free-will offering will be accepted and shared with Love Repeated. The not-for-profit organization supports nutrition programs and provides housing, clothing, education and medical care for young people who have lost their families in Tanzania.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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