Trivia about the Santuario de San Antonio Parish Church
The convent and church of San Francisco de Asis in Intramuros were razed to the ground during the liberation of Manila in 1945. Instead of rebuilding at the same location, the Franciscans decided to construct a new church elsewhere.
On July 17, 1951, a contract was signed between the Franciscans and the Ayala Corporation, which agreed to donate two hectares of land at Forbes Park, Makati, Rizal, on which the Franciscans committed to construct a church and convent (California Mission-style).
On August 24, 1951, the Most Rev. Gabriel M. Reyes, D.o., Archbishop of Manila, granted permission for this construction to be undertaken dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua. The conerstone was blessed on August 1, 1951.
On December 8, 1953, the Most Rev. Rufino J. Santos, D.o. Archbishop of Manila, solemnly blessed the new church. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the solemn blessing.
Santuario de San Antonio was converted into a parish on April 16, 1975, with a territory consisting of Urdaneta Village, North and South Forbes Park and Dasmarifias Village. In May, 1975, Fr. Urban Plachcinski, OFM, was installed as first parish priest.
On December 8, 1976, Fr. Plachcinski, was also appointed Pastor of the English speaking foreign Catholics in Metro Manila with headquarters at the Santuario de San Antonio Parish.
From the very beginning of the construction until its completion, Fr. Jose Martinez, OFM, was in charge of the place. He was the driving force behind the construction project.
Fr. Martinez was ordained to the Priesthood in Madrid, Spain at the age of 23, on June 2, 1929. He came to the Philippines in November of that year, and his work took him to Samar, Intramuros, Sta. Ana, Manila, San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City and Forbes Park where he stayed for 18 years.
What the Parish is today, strong, vibrant and dynamic, can be traced to the combined efforts of all the priests and parishioners who have put all their time and efforts to ensure that the Santuario de San Antonio becomes a model parish that effectively and efficiently serves its community for the greater glory of God. More particularly, credit should go to the other parish priests namely; Fr. Hugh Zurat who was parish priest from 1980-1989; Fr. David Turnbull, 1989-1991; Fr. Enrique Carpio, 1991-1995; Fr. Franco Mendiola, April to November, 1995; Fr. Gil Romeo Abesamis, 1995-1997 and Fr. Antonio-Ma. Rosales, 1997 to the present.
In this 50 years of existence, the Santuario has been faithful to the values lived by St. Anthony: love for prayer; concern for the poor and the needy and care for the environment. In its little way it has contributed to recent events of our history, with the first meetings that led to EDSA UNO, as well as EDSADOS.