WINDHAM — In celebration of the new St. Anthony of Padua Parish, the first St. Anthony Festival is set for Friday, July 16, and Saturday, July 17, on the grounds of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, located on 919 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. All are welcome to gather on this joyous occasion.

The festival will kick off with a Mass of Thanksgiving on Friday, July 16, at 7 p.m. which will include a blessing of the Statue of St. Anthony, a candlelight procession to the outdoor shrine of St. Anthony, and a reception in the courtyard.

On Saturday, July 17, an outdoor festival will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature a variety of food, crafts, baked goods, raffles, a yard sale, activities for the kids, s’mores with a fire pit, and live music. The festival will pause for Mass at 4 p.m. on Saturday and then resume with a community dinner and reception from 5-8 p.m.

Earlier this month, the diocese announced a canonical merger between parishes in Gorham, Westbrook, and Windham that establishes the new St. Anthony of Padua Parish (Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Windham, St. Anne Church in Gorham, St. Hyacinth Church in Westbrook, and the seasonal chapel of Our Lady of Sebago in East Sebago). All worship sites will retain their names and remain open.

“Over the past six years, the parishes have worked towards joining together as one community of faith and fellowship,” said Fr. Louis Phillips, pastor of the new St. Anthony of Padua Parish who has served in the communities since June of 2015. “We all share the same clergy and pastoral staff. We have established one pastoral center with clergy and staff offices. We have formed a united pastoral council and a united finance council. Many parishioners attend Masses at more than one of the churches. A canonical parish has one set of financial books, one set of sacramental registers,  and combined finances. Those are just a few of the many administrative advantages that will save money and more efficiently utilize the time and energy of our parish staff.” 

If you are able to volunteer in any capacity at the festival, please call Mary Hopkins at 207-857-0490, Teresa Ledue at 207-857-0490, or Carol Kennie at 207-650-1304.