Saint Anthony Parish was established on September 1, 1974. Prior to that time, residents of the Greenhaven/Pocket area were part of Saint Joseph Parish, Clarksburg. Father Brendan O’Sullivan, Associate Pastor of Saint Joseph, was appointed Pastor of Saint Anthony Parish.
The boundaries of the new parish, which numbered about 400 families, were the Sacramento River on the west and south, the railroad tracks along Freeport Boulevard on the east, and 35th Avenue on the north. From 1974 to 1979, the community met at Saint Mary church on Pocket Road. In December 1979 the current church and Religious Education Center at 660 Florin Road were completed and dedicated. As the parish grew, so did the need for a facility for parish events. Through the generous support of the community, the Memorial Center was completed in 1996. This multi-use facility has two conference rooms, dining area, gymnasium, commercial kitchen, and an extensive library. In 2001, again due to the generosity of our members, the administrative offices were expanded and modernized and two classrooms were added to the Religious Education Center. From the beginning of the parish until the mid-1990s, religious education for children was under the direction of the Mercy Sisters of Auburn. They were succeeded by Sr. Merlynn, a Sister of Saint Joseph of Carondelet. Following her tenure, the position of coordinator of religious education for children has been held by several dedicated laypersons. The current director is Linda.
Monsignor Brendan O’Sullivan served as pastor of Saint Anthony Parish until his retirement in October 2005. He was assisted by a number of priests who served as parochial vicar or were in residence: Fathers Dan Looney, Sylvester McDermott, Ed Lewis, Dare Morgan, Keith Canterbury, John Keane, Rey Bersabal and Boyet Vibandor. Following Monsignor O’Sullivan’s retirement, Father John Boll was appointed the second Pastor of Saint Anthony Parish. Father John served for 4-1/2 years as pastor here. In 2009, Father Michael Hebda, Diocesean Priests Personnel Director, was assigned In Residence at St. Anthony. When Father John retired June 30, 2010, Father Manuel Soria was appointed pastor.
On July 1, 2012, Father Soria was appointed pastor of Holy Family Parish in Citrus Heights. Following Father Soria’s departure, Father Loreto “Bong” Rojas, Jr. was appointed as the fourth pastor of Saint Anthony Parish. Father Bong previously served as pastor of Saint James Parish in Davis. The parish is comprised of over 2,200 households. We are blessed with a dynamic laity, who help to build up the kingdom of God by volunteering as catechists, council members, event helpers, and committee members. For several years, Saint Anthony had three permanent deacons serving the community: Mike Crowley, Jim Healy and Rich Koppes. Deacon Crowley passed away in March 2012 and Deacons Healy and Koppes are retired from active ministry. In June 2014 parishioner David Cabrera was ordained a permanent deacon assigned to serve this community. Seven lay staff members complete the pastoral team, ministering in the areas of religious education, RCIA, health ministry, youth ministry, facilities management, and administrative support.