The Franciscans at SAS
The Franciscans (the Order of Friar Minor) were the first religious order to accept a mission in the State of Connecticut. On January 1, 1865, the Most Reverend Francis P. McFarland, Bishop of Hartford, placed Winsted and the surrounding territory under the care of the Franciscan Fathers and Father Leo da Saracena became pastor of St. Joseph’s.
Father Leo was known as a man of unusual ability and a doer of deeds. In consequence, he sometimes encountered obstacles and met with difficulties. He was a type of old-fashioned priest who was an intimate associate and almost a member of every family of his parish. Father Leo founded St. Anthony School in the church basement on August 15, 1865. By 1887 he had built the first school building. The energetic friar also built the convent, monastery and thoroughly organized the parish. He served as Provincial of the Franciscan Order at Allegany, NY for two years and was president of St. Bonaventure College (where he built more buildings and improved the college). He was a man of many accomplishments and his importance to the school and parish will always be apparent.
Our school is rich in tradition and faith. From January 1, 1865 to present, the Franciscans and the St. Joseph’s parishioners have shaped St. Anthony School. We are a small community joined together by a common purpose. We hope to pass on our values and faith to our students. But also, it is our hope that each student develops unusual abilities and becomes a doer of deeds.