St. Anthony de Padua
N5333 Maple St., Tony
Located in Rusk County
Phone number: 715-532-3051
Number of Households: 77
Parish Life Coordinator: Deacon Craig Voldberg
Supervising Pastor: Fr. Philip Juza (not in residence)
Sacramental Minister: Fr. Inna Reddy Pothireddy
Weekend Assistant: Fr. Dave Oberts (not in residence)
Deacons: Craig Voldberg, Thomas Fuhrmann, Douglas Sorenson
Weekend Mass Schedule: Sunday Mass: 8:30 a.m.
Describe your faith community
Our community is a mixture of cultures; some of our families have been here for centuries, and others are new to our parish, establishing deep roots with the church as the center of their lives.
The basement of the current church was dug in 1920 by area farmers with their teams of horses, and Masses were held there until 1939, when the church was built.
This dedication to St. Anthony’s Parish still resonates with the parishioners; one family has provided flowers from their personal gardens, to enhance the beauty of the church, since 1968.
“When visitors come to our parish …
… they will feel at home in the quaint woodsy atmosphere of the interior of the church. As the wooden pews glimmer in the sunshine, they capture the essence of the families who have been there before the current generation. Visitors will also be reminded of the parish’s dedication to saving the lives of the unborn by the prominent headstone right next to the entrance of the Church.
In what ways does your parish proclaim the Gospel in actions?
Parishioners donate nonperishable food items every month to be distributed to area food pantries. A standing tradition at St. Anthony’s is that we enjoy Doughnut Sunday in the parish center on the first Sunday of the month, when those who have birthdays and anniversaries that month are honored and blessed at the end of Mass. Parishioners strongly support the Ladysmith Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center’s Walk for Life each September; the parish team has raised the most donations for many years in a row. Every summer, the Human Concerns Committee sponsors the Summer Fest Charcoal Chicken Dinner to maintain the upkeep of our cemetery, and provide emergency assistance to families in need. Thinking of You baskets are given to ill and homebound parishioners; baskets consist of seven small gifts to be opened daily, along with a prayer for their recovery. Once a month we have a group that meets for faith-sharing. St. Anthony de Padua Parish Center is used for events sponsored by the diocese, due to our central location. Every Thursday morning after Mass or a communion service, attendees share coffee and goodies. The rosary has been prayed every Sunday morning before 8:30 a.m. Mass since the 1930s. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is prayed Thursdays before Mass/Communion services.
What is something about your parish most people might not know?
St. Anthony’s Parish was established in 1901, and Masses were celebrated in private homes until 1903, when a church was erected on the south edge of Tony. Close ties to the Catholic Church in Ladysmith were established early in the life of the parish; Ladysmith became a mission of St. Anthony; in 1906, when Ladysmith was established as a parish by the Diocese of Superior, St. Anthony’s became the mission church until 1953. In 1992, St. Anthony was clustered with Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Mary of Czestochowa, Hawkins. In 2011, the cluster became a six-parish cluster with the addition of St. Mary’s in Bruce, St. Francis of Assisi, Flambeau, and Ss. Peter and Paul, Weyerhaeuser, and became known as the Rusk County Catholic Community in 2012.