Recent and Future Happenings!
May 31st, 2014 by Father Chris

This evening we celebrated our 7th Annual Blue Mass here at Saint Anthony’s.  It was a magnificent occasion with such a large number of our Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS workers and Civic Officials in attendance.  We are grateful for the participation of all and thank everyone for coming.  Once again the weather held out for us and it was a great opportunity to honor these heroic men and women who serve our community so faithfully. 

Almost as soon as the Blue Mass ended we began to set up for the Festa.  The statues will soon be arranged in church and this year we will have candles available to place at each of the statues in church.  This is a wonderful way to memorialize a loved one or honor one of your favorite saints including our own patron Saint Anthony. 

 We are looking forward to another great Festa this year as we celebrate our 45th Annual Festa Italiana.  Thanks to everyone who has given so much time and effort to organize so many of the details so far and thanks to everyone who is going to volunteer and help next weekend.  Be sure to spread the word around town and with family and friends to join us this weekend, June 6, 7 and 8 for the Festa here at Saint Anthony’s.

This Tuesday June 3rd we are excited to welcome back to Saint Anthony’s Father Pete Philominraj.  This will be Father Pete’s 5th summer with us and we cannot wait to see him once again.  We pray that he has a safe journey.

On Saturday evening June 14th we will be having a concert in the church.  The concert will be given by the Schola Antiqua of Chicago Illinois.  The concert entitled “Music of the Hours” is inspired by the prayer books of the Middle Ages, including the Book of Hours.  Roger Wieck, Curator of  Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts  at the Morgan Library and Musem will share stunning devotional art of the early sixteenth century while the ensemble divulges a sound world prompted by these precious volumes.  Tickets are $20 and will be sold at the door the night of the concert or in the parish office.

Finally, we invite everyone to join us on Saturday June 21st at the 5:00pm Mass as we celebrate Father Peter’s retirement and his 20 years of service to Saint Anthony’s Parish.  We will celebrate a Farewell Mass and then host a reception in the lower church hall.  Please spread the word and plan to be here to honor Father Peter as we bid him farewell. 

Stay tuned for more information on these and other important happenings here at Saint Anthony’s which will be announced soon. 

A Tribute to Monsignor Victor S. Pavis
May 1st, 2014 by Father Chris


Monsignor Pavis is greeted by Pope  John Paul II and Cardinal Terence Cooke during the Pope’s visit to New York in 1979.


This flower arrangement was sent by our parish to the wake for Monsignor Pavis.


The note attached to the flowers reads: “In gratitude to God for your years of service as our Pastor.”  Father Christopher Monturo, Father Peter Scaramuzzo and all of the staff and people of Saint Anthony of Padua, West Harrison, New York.

The following tribute was posted on the website for the Staten Island Advance.  I include it here for the benefit of all.  I look forward to the Memorial Mass we will celebrate here at Saint Anthony’s in the near future and I hope many parishioners will be able to attend. 

Monsignor Victor Pavis, 95, cherished in the memory of many as an inspirational high school teacher, principal, coach and a former administrator at the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin, Mount Loretto, died Saturday in Our Lady of Consolation residence for retired priests in the Bronx.

Three weeks ago, Monsignor Pavis was the first of eight people inducted into the inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame at Cardinal Hayes High School, the Bronx, where he began his teaching career and later served as principal. Though illness prevented him from attending the ceremony, his nephew, Matthew Pavis, accepted the award on his uncle’s behalf.

The oldest of six children born to Victor and Blanche Pavis, he moved with his family to Great Kills from Greenwich Village in 1923, when he was 5 years old. By the time he reached the eighth grade, he — and everyone around him — knew he was headed for the priesthood, family recalled.

He graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, N.Y., and was ordained a priest on May 1, 1943.

He left Staten Island for nine years when assigned to Cardinal Hayes High School, where he taught Latin and senior religion, was moderator of the cheerleading squad, coached junior varsity baseball and founded the St. Martin de Porres Club, the first African American club at the high school.

In 1952, he became director of senior boys at Mount Loretto, where he was affectionately known as “Father Vic” in the local community. He organized sports programs to boost the orphaned boys’ pride and got them into local leagues, taking on the role of a parental figure as well as a role model.

“We were father, mother, aunt and uncle,” he told the Advance in 2005. “We ate with the kids and lived in the dorms with the kids. It was a wonderful experience because we were all so close to the kids.” He said at the time that he continued to receive Father’s Day cards from many of the children.

After a turn as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Pelham Manor, N.Y., he returned to the Island as a faculty member at the recently opened Monsignor Farrell High School, Oakwood, where he stayed until returning to Cardinal Hayes as its principal.

He later served as pastor of Holy Rosary R.C. Church, Manhattan; St. Benedict’s R.C. Church, the Bronx, and St. Anthony’s R.C. Church, East White Plains, N.Y. He had been semi-retired since 2003, serving as assistant to the guidance counselor at Cardinal Hayes, where the library is named for him.

He was not the only member of his family to enter the priesthood. His brother, the late Gerard, was a Maryknoll missionary priest, assigned to Africa for 15 years.

Monsignor Pavis was a talented athlete, and was once one of the finest competitive golfers on Staten Island. In 1955, he finished second in the Staten Island amateur championship. He was also a skilled baseball player and for a time practiced hockey with the New York Rangers.

But he is best known for the enthusiasm and compassion he showed young students, many of whom returned to Cardinal Hayes sharing tales of his tutelage, and noting that he kept them going under difficult circumstances.

“He was a household name on Staten Island,” said his nephew. “Everybody knew him. He helped more people than anyone I ever knew.”

Monsignor Pavis had been in good spirits, despite his recent failing health, his family said.

“He was always in a good mood when Steven, my twin brother, and I visited him,” said his nephew, Matthew. “He was surrounded by great health aides who loved him and pampered him.” Monsignor Pavis was particularly grateful to Mary Lynch, who managed his care for several years.

In 2009, he was honored by his family at a major celebration in honor of his 90th birthday.

He is survived by his brother, James Pavis.

The funeral will be Wednesday from the Riverdale on Hudson Funeral Home, with a mass at 10 a.m. in St. Margaret of Cortona R.C. Church, both the Bronx. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Grasmere.


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