St. Anthony of Padua is a community of faith whose primary mission is continuing the work of Christ. We proclaim the good news of salvation of souls as we welcome people of all ages and all walks of life. Through our ministries, we work to strengthen our Catholic Christian values, pursue social justice, and provide services to the community around us.
History of Saint Anthony of Padua Church
Archbishop Joseph T. McGucken dedicated Novato’s new St. Anthony of Padua church on Sunday, October 10, 1971. Following the dedication ceremony, the archbishop offered a Mass of Thanksgiving.
St. Anthony’s parish was established in June of 1968 and Father Daniel J. Sheehan was named founding pastor. He consulted with parishioners and the majority of the 750 families voted to build a small permanent church on the sloping tree-studded 7.19 acre site.
The church contains 5,650 square feet of space and seats 240 in the nave and an additional 102 in the left transept area. The walnut pews were built by monks of the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Lafayette, Oregon.
Fr. Sheehan was granted the privilege of selecting the parish’s patron and he named the parish in honor of St. Anthony. Fr. Sheehan asked stained glass artist John Hogan of Los Gatos to design a window for the circular shrine which forms the left transept. The glass curved shrine wall provides a beautiful setting for the statue of St. Anthony. The shrine wall has symbols reflecting the theme of the 41st Psalm, “As a hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for Thee, O God.”
The brilliant window features hills, oak trees and deer which also echo the church’s natural Novato setting. The hand of God is shown in blessing and the rising sun completes the design. Hogan also executed windows depicting the Nativity and the Crucifixion.
Ground was broken for the social and educational hall on Friday, July 2, 1982. The hall accommodates two hundred and eighty people and converts to eight classrooms. The home and offices of the parish priests was constructed in the summer of 1988.
Over the years many priests have served the community and countless parishioners have been deeply involved in developing programs and charities.