This Thursday evening, September 25, we will present the third program in our series “OMG!: Churches and Synagogues of Greenwich Village.” Father Joseph Lorenzo, O.F.M., pastor at the Shrine Church of St. Anthony of Padua, will present a slideshow and history of the church and the parish.
Our previous programs in this series were The First Presbyterian Church, on April 28, and St. John’s Lutheran Church on June 12. You can see photos and video of these two programs on our website’s Past Programs page.
The Shrine Church of Saint Anthony of Padua is located on the corner of West Houston and Sullivan Streets in the South Village. It stands proudly as the first Italian parish in New York State, the second Italian parish founded in the United States, the oldest existing Italian parish in the U.S. and the first parish church building built by Italian immigrants in the United States. You can find out more about the Italian-American heritage of the South Village by reading GVSHP’s Report “The Italians of the South Village” by Mary Elizabeth Brown, or with this map of historically significant Italian-American sites in the South Village.
Saint Anthony’s has been popularly called “The Italian Cathedral” and has appeared in movies such as “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” “Godfather II,” and “Moonstruck.” I’m sure Father Joe is going to talk about the 1888 pipe organ – I can’t wait to hear all about it. If you would like to join us, the program is free, but reservations are required. You may rsvp here.
Although GVSHP has asked the Landmarks Preservation Commission to add this neighborhood to the South Village Historic District that was designated last December, that unfortunately has not yet happened. Although some people consider anything south of Houston Street on the map to be “SoHo”, the blocks of MacDougal, Sullivan, and Thompson Streets south of Houston have always been considered part of the Village. Previous blog posts on this subject can be found here and here.
A couple doors down from St. Anthony’s you’ll find Pino Prime Meats, a 2014 Village Award winner, and a store that lets you know you are in an Italian neighborhood. Stop in to say hi to Pino, Sal, and Leo and treat yourself to those thinly sliced pork chops. They’ll be the best you ever had.