It took the help and dedication of an entire community to piece together 100 years worth of rich local Italian history — the history of St. Anothny of Padua Church.
As a way to celebrate its centennial year, which took place back in 2013, members of St. Anthony’s came together to write and publish A Journey of Faith — A History of St. Anthony of Padua Church, a unique history and coffee table book of the Italian Catholic church.
The book, which was unveiled Saturday at St. Anthony’s on Booth St. during evening mass, showcases the church’s evolution through time and the significance it has had throughout the city’s history.
“The history of St. Anthony’s Church is the history of the Italian community in Ottawa,” said Carla Lappa, co-chair of the clergy council.
“It’s a real legacy to future generations. It’s something that is going to remain because it’s not just a book of pictures. It’s real people with real stories and it makes history come alive.”
The book was the brainchild of Italo Tiezzi, a clergy member and former professor at the University of Ottawa.
A few years ago he approached the parish council and proposed the idea.
Without hesitation they were all on board and started fundraising within the community to cover the publishing costs.
To start, the council dug up old records from the church’s archives.
But there were holes in the timeline they needed to fill, so they turned to the community for help.
“We made a call to the community and asked anyone who might have records, stories or photos to come forward,” said Lappa.
“Everybody was very responsive and we ended up getting all types of materials and documents and everything started coming together.”
And just like that, a piece of Ottawa’s history was brought to life.
“This book really shows just how important the church was in the community since the beginning,” said Lappa.
“It’s just an overall beautiful book.”
Courtesy – OttawaSun