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St. Anthony Chapel

 
St. Anthony's Chapel - Norwich, CT

 

Nestled between lofty hills in the easterly section of Norwich, less than five minutes walk from the center of the city, St. Anthony's Chapel was erected.  It was the pious ambitions of Joseph C. Delgado, who during his youth entertained desires for the priesthood.

Mr. Delgado believed that everyone of the Catholic faith should o something to please God.  He had a dream one day, saw the Chapel and built it according to the picture which was presented to him at the time.  With his own money and manual labor, he erected the Chapel.  Because of his devotion to St. Anthony, Mr. Delgado dedicated the edifice to this great saint of Padua, Italy.  The inscription over the door of the Chapel in Portuguese says, "A Chapel to St. Anthony, Baptized 4th day of July 1926".

The interior of the Chapel is 16feet long, 9 feet wide.  Statues of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, St. Anthony, St. Anne and St. Therese surround the altar.  A barber, Mr. Delgado cut down a barber pole, painted over the red stripes in white and used it as a base to hold the crucifix which stands at the front of the Chapel.  Tiny framed drawings hung along the wall depict the 14 Stations of the Cross.  The statues and other icons were given by friends as gifts.  The Chapel, which is almost childlike, has a quiet dignity.

When Mr. Delgado died in 1967, the funeral train drove by Talman Street, past the house and St. Anthony's Chapel.  Since 1926 and until the day of his death the Chapel was never locked.

In the years between 1926 and 1976, the Chapel had fallen into disrepair.  The Cape Verdean Santiago Society, Inc. and its members completed the restoration of the Chapel on July 30, 1977.  On that day the Chapel was blessed by the Most Reverend Daniel P. Reilly, Bishop of Norwich along with Reverend Thomas Bride and neighboring priests.

On August 6, 2003, St. Anthony's Chapel was listed on the State Register of Historic Places by the Connecticut Historical Commission.  The Chapel, which had fulfilled a dream, has become a symbol of the arrival, establishment and settlement of the Cape Verdeans in the city of Norwich and a symbol of pride for the man who left such a priceless legacy.

On October 29, 2004, St. Anthony's Chapel was razed.  For several years, the Delgado family had tried unsuccessfully to relocate the Chapel so that the symbol of the Cape Verdean Community and the history of its people would remain unscathed.

Norwich City Officials, residents and members of the Cape Verdean community were committed to raising funds in order to reconstitute the Chapel.  Monies were acquired through donations, grants, social events and the sale of St. Anthony's Chapel Custom Ornaments.

A Non-Profit, 501 c(3) Exempt Organization, "A Capela do Santo Antonio, Inc." was incorporated to allow this organization to apply for grants and accept personal donations.

Personal donations can be sent to :

Chelsea Groton Savings Bank

One Franklin Square

P.O. Box 151

Norwich, CT   06360-0151

checks payable to "A Capela do Santo Antonio, Inc".

A replica of the Chapel was built on the grounds of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, 70 Central Avenue, Norwich, CT.  A re-dedication service was held on Saturday, April 29, 2006, with Most Reverend Daniel P. Reilly officiating.  Choir members from the St. Patrick's Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts joined us in the celebration.  A gathering of family, parishioners, and friends took place after the dedication.

The first Feast of St. Anthony was held on Saturday, June 9, 2007.  St. Mary's celebrated with two symbols which exemplified St. Anthony's life;  the blessing of the Lilies and the distribution of The Bread of St. Anthony to the parishioners.  A new statue of St. Anthony was carried in a procession by members of A Capela do Santo Antonio, Inc., and placed on the altar.  The Feast of St. Anthony will be celebrated each year.


For Private Tours, please contact:      Roberta J. Vincent - 860.705.3176   or
                                                         Alfred Gonsalves - 860.917.9586