St Anthony of Padua Church
CCD Office: 860-567-4188
|49 South St. Litchfield, CT 06759|
|Daily Masses: Mon-Fri 8:00am|
|Saturday Vigil Mass: 5:00pm|
|Sunday Masses: 8:00am & 10:45am|
St. Anthony of Padua Church, Established 1882
Bridgeport, Waterbury, and then Winsted were given successive pastoral charge over Irish immigrants in Litchfield, yet the first priest to visit the town and offer Mass was Father John Smith of Albany, New York, who came in 1848. Julia Beers purchased a South Street building to use as a mission church for about 140 Catholic families. From 1866 to 1882, the Winsted Franciscans attended to Litchfield. They built a small frame mission church, first opened for worship on Christmas 1867 and later dedicated by Bishop Francis P. McFarland on June 22, 1869. On September 8, 1882, St. Anthony of Padua was made a parish, with Father Michael J. Byrne as resident pastor. Father Joseph M. Gleeson immediately used monies raised by Father Byrne to buy land for a new church and rectory. Father Timothy Sweeney erected a frame church of Gothic style, dedicated on July 8, 1888, by Bishop Lawrence S. McMahon. On October 5, 1944, a fire destroyed St. Anthony Church. The Congregational and Methodist churches immediately offered their facilities. On October 24, 1948, then Bishop Henry J. O'Brien dedicated the new St. Anthony Church.