Our Parish

A History of Our Parish and Schools

St. Anthony is a parish of the San Pedro Pastoral Region in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It began as a mission church in 1915 on Concord Street. Fr. Henry B. Tierney was the resident pastor, but Fr. Nicholas Conneally, pastor of St. James, Redondo Beach had erected the building in 1915, when it was a mission church of that parish and St. Joseph, Hawthorne. The first years were very difficult and it was merged with American Martyrs in Manhattan Beach. In 1942 it was again an independent parish with Fr. Lawrence O’Connor as pastor. The current church property on Grand Avenue was purchased in 1955. Construction began in earnest during 1956 and was completed in 1957, with Fr. Luke Lynch as pastor. Monsignor Edward Maddox became pastor in 1967 and served the parish until 1974 when Fr. Michael McNulty took the helm and served the parish until 1983. In 1984 Fr. James O’Grady, from County Mayo, Ireland became pastor and served from 1983 until 2001. A new parish hall was built and expansion of the parish school occurred during the pastorate of Fr. O’Grady. Fr. James Anguiano became pastor in 2001 and served until 2007. Fr. Robert Victoria became administrator in 2007, overseeing the dedication of the new parish center and was appointed pastor in 2009. Our Auxiliary Bishop is the Most Reverend Oscar A. Solis, D.D., V.G.. In June 2010, Fr. Victoria was able to travel to Padua, Italy, where he received a 1st class relic of St. Anthony. An effort to create a Shrine of St. Anthony in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was initiated.

The site of the original mission church on Concord Street is now the home of St. Andrew Russian-Greek Catholic Church, which is also a parish of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

St. Anthony School is a parish school. In 1956, the first school building was built, opening with grades one, two, and three and staffed by the Daughters of Mary and Joseph. A fourth grade was added the following year and in 1958 the second building was completed, allowing the school to grow by one more class each year. The school operated as an eight-classroom school for seventeen years when low enrollment forced first and second grade to be taught in one classroom. This trend continued so that in 1979 St. Anthony’s student body included grade 1-8 in four classrooms, using the other rooms in the school for office, visual aides , a religious education office and a meeting room. In 1986, the goal of single grade classes began to be implemented. The combination class of grades one and two was split into separate classes in January of 1986. The following school year grades three and four also were separated. This process continued until the last class was split in the fall of 1989, providing for a K-8 classroom school. A program to increase school enrollment began in the fall of 1987, when a Kindergarten class was added to the school. An extended day care program was initiated in the spring of 1987 to serve the needs of working families and to promote the goal of increased school enrollment.

St. Anthony School serves the families of St. Anthony Parish and surrounding communities with a strong Catholic environment. The Daughters of Mary and Joseph taught in the school from its opening through June 1971. Three Carmelite Sisters and a lay teacher staffed the school in the 1971-1972 school year. The Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament inhabited the convent adjacent to the school from 1986-2006. In 2006 the administrators of the order decided to move the Sisters to their larger communities in the San Diego and San Fernando Valley areas in June thus creating an entire lay faculty for the first time. Since then the school has been operating under a lay administration and faculty. The school currently participates in the PLACE Corps program in affiliation with Loyola Marymount University. This program, administered by LMU, is designed to foster the growth and education of young Catholic school teachers.

St. Anthony Preschool In order to expand the educational services offered to the families of the parish and surrounding communities with younger children, St. Anthony Parish opened a preschool on Lomita Street in September 2006. The facility is housed in the renovated church hall and has two classrooms, a kitchen (for snacks), a covered playground, and lawn area. There are two classes providing a loving, nurturing catholic education to children ages two to five. The preschool is administered by Rose Aguayo, Director, St. Anthony Pre-School.