Welcome to the Old Catholic Mission of St. Anthony of Padua of the Order of Antioch
Founded on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady in 2010, we are a Catholic mission with a Franciscan ethos offering traditional services, rites of passage and pastoral care in California. The Presiding Bishop is the Most Revd Dr Tony Scuderi, OA, FSSF, OAM, DD, PsyD, DMin who was consecrated on the 10th April 2011 in Arizona.
The Mass is celebrated regularly according to the pre-Vatican II Ordo, usually in English. As Old Catholics, we are independent of the control of the Holy See and do not accept either the First or the Second Vatican Councils. We permit our clergy to marry, and take a more liberal stance on Christian social teaching than is the case with the modern Roman Catholic Church. The Order of Antioch (main website here) was founded in 1928 and is a conservative Old Catholic body descending from +Joseph-Rene Vilatte, the very first Old Catholic Archbishop for the United States, who was consecrated for that charge by the Syrian Orthodox Church in 1892.
Bishop Tony has a message for you! "My main work as a Bishop of the Mission is to spread the good news of the Gospel, reaching out to marginalized Catholics who may feel disillusioned by the Roman Catholic Church, those who have been put outside their church, those whose sexual orientation has been questioned, and who have been told that because you are who you are, you are an outcast. In some instances, due to your cultural belief system or marital state you may have been disenfranchised or excommunicated by your church. I guarantee you this will not happen with my mission."
“Quaerit Sapientia Sancta In Corde Meo Et In Mente Meae”
A Personal Reflection on the Coat of Arms of
The Most Reverend Anthony J Scuderi, OA, OSF, OAM
The Coat of Arms is derived from the life journey and family of Bishop Tony. Starting at the motto line: Quaerit Sapientia Sancta In Corde Meo Et In Mente Meae translates to Holy Wisdom is sought in my heart and in my mind. As a child, Bishop Tony’s father constantly reinforced the importance of education and the gathering of knowledge both theological and worldly. Throughout the years, Bishop Tony has pursued excellence in a plethora of areas treasuring and teaching that which he has learned with a personal mission to help those most in need of spiritual and social growth and development.
Starting at the top of the shield, in the upper left quarter is found the Franciscan symbol of Jesus and St Francis of Assisi. In 1987, Bishop Tony was ordained as a Roman Catholic Franciscan Priest. Throughout his life St Francis of Assisi has held a prominent place in the Bishop’s mind, heart and lifestyle. Seeking the simplicity of the wisdom of Francis has always been his journey and dream. Reaching out to the poor and marginalized, as St. Francis did, is part of the character make-up and struggles of Bishop Tony. As an Old Catholic Bishop, +Tony has chosen to continue his Franciscan charism in the New Order of St. Francis and as head of the Mission of St Anthony of Padua in the Order of Antioch.
In the upper right quarter, we find the Mallets. According to the Scuderi family coat of arms from Italy, the Mallet symbolizes, “one who is forceful and unwavering.” Though compromise is a quality Bishop Tony values, once a decision is made, he sticks to it and does not stop pursuing the task until completion.
In the lower left quarter we see the red rose. Simply put, the red rose is the national flower of the United States of America. This is incorporated into Bishop Tony's shield to define the beauty of the United States, the home of Bishop Tony and the place where his Mission flourishes. The rose is a gentle, soft, flower, a complement to the Mallets. The rose’s beauty is unwavering imbued with a thorny stem as a warning not to take beauty for granted, but to learn to respect it. Seek wisdom from the rose and find one’s inner beauty through the prickliness of the human nature.
The lower right quarter of the shield is comprised of the miter and the lion. The miter symbolizes the office of the Bishop. The lion is taken from the Italian Scuderi coat of arms. The Lion in the Coat symbolizes the king of beasts possessing strength and courage. In a world surrounded by death and destruction, evil and maliciousness, Bishop Tony truly believes that to overcome these destructive entities, wisdom must be sought through the Holy Spirit. Through prayer and practice, with unwavering faith in the glorious Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the strength and courage it takes to face, fight and conquer evil can be achieved through the fullness of the priesthood.
Finally, the Cross in the center of the shield is the protector. The cross of Christ protects, governs, and guides through the seeking of wisdom in both mind and heart, the Franciscan Charism, the mallets of forceful, unwavering strength, the gentle yet cautious beauty of the rose and the office and strength and courage of the office of Bishop.
Behind the shield is the crosier. This crosier behind the shield of Bishop Tony, is meant to symbolize the wisdom, guardianship and remembrance that being a shepherd is a team effort never to be done in isolation. It is a reminder that where two or more are gathered in His name, there wisdom is found. Wisdom is never discovered in isolation or individually mandated, but is rather a concerted effort.
All of this is surrounded by the Green Hat and Tassels delineating the Office of Bishop, and the humbleness of said office as Teacher, Guardian, Healer, and most of all Servant of Servants.