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Written by Erin McConaughey   
Monday, 08 June 2009 09:59
St. Anthony Catholic Church to Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony on June 14, 2009


Davenport, IA - Since 1837, St. Anthony Catholic Church has had an historic and deeply personal impact in the heart of downtown Davenport.  As the oldest church in Davenport, St. Anthony’s presence continues to share love for neighbor as they conduct a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, June 14, immediately after the 11:30 Mass, at 12:30 p.m., to build a new Multipurpose Hall, Education Center, Gathering Center, Parish Offices and a warming kitchen, patio, and distribution window, affectionately named “McAnthony Window,” out of which to serve meals to the homeless and underprivileged.


172 years after being founded by Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, St. Anthony’s new 7,200 s.f. addition and renovation will allow it to meet the spiritual needs of people of all ages with the additional space.  Faith formation will now be housed in a single location to serve the Catholic families and especially the children and youth programs.  Small-group Bible studies will be able to meet in classrooms.  The church offices will also be relocated in the new facility.  In addition, the Gathering Center will become a place where parishioners of all ages can gather and lift one another up, building community and fellowship.  By strengthening and equipping the people at St. Anthony’s, all will be more empowered to serve their neighbors in their daily needs.


A more unified, aesthetically pleasing campus, which will attract attention to the historically significant church square and will coincide well with the city’s downtown beautification plans, will also be achieved through this project.  The beautification of Davenport’s downtown area will not only benefit current residents but also will help to attract new business and tourists to the heart of the city.  In addition, it will create a unified square with historic emphasis placed on the original church building, a building to which Antoine LeClaire himself contributed the lead gift to erect.  Blending old with new, creating a more park-like atmosphere, and drawing attention to historic sites of significance in the heart of downtown Davenport, a need expressed by city officials, historic committees, and the residents of the Quad Cities who work, shop, and participate in cultural and social activities along the Riverfront and in downtown Davenport.   

St. Anthony’s McAnthony Window will also undergo an addition of a covered patio area with heating elements for colder months.  The McAnthony Window helps to meet the needs for those who have little or no other means of support.  They currently prepare between 125 and 150 meals a day, 45,000 meals a year, out of a small, residential kitchen.  What St. Anthony can offer is limited by space and equipment.  Any future desire to increase the number of meals or days served is an impossibility with the current facilities.  Currently, meal participants congregate under an old awning and sit on benches.  There is no heating provided, and after this past winter, the pressing need for a heated space is abundantly clear. St. Anthony also assembles and distributes 1,200 Thanksgiving baskets, 1,200 Christmas baskets, and 950 Easter baskets annually.  
The campaign theme “Gathering our Community – Continuing our Outreach” reflects the committed desire of St. Anthony to come together to meet the needs of the parish and the community.  Many families served in volunteer roles throughout the campaign, and families of the parish have made pledges totaling over $1.5 million as of this date.  The parish continues to receive support for this worthy project both from parishioners as well as from the community at large and is graciously accepting all contributions and donations for this campaign and for the on-going support of their mission to the needy at McAnthony Window.  During this time of economic difficulty for so many, St. Anthony’s is a beacon of hope in downtown Davenport, reaching out to those in greatest need.  For more information on St. Anthony’s, please visit their website at:
http://www.stanthonysdavenport.4lpi.com/.  

Russell Construction, located in Davenport, IA, will serve as the Design/Builder for the $1,800,000
expansion project.  Russell has delivered over $40 million in religious facilities in and around the Quad Cities area.  Construction is set to begin immediately and will be completed by June 2010.  For more information on Russell Construction, please visit their website at www.russellco.com.  

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