Founding parishioners came to Cincinnati during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from the Middle East, fleeing the Ottoman persecutions and World War I. Many families from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Egypt etc. established their life here and gathered as a parish. The Maronite Liturgy began to be celebrated, with Rev. Beshara Kayata as first pastor, in a building on Third and Broadway streets. Records indicate St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Catholic Church, was established in late 1910, with the first service being held in a former church on West Third Street near a Pennsylvania depot. The church moved to a former residence on Third Street in 1922 under a 99-year lease.
The parish was served by Maronite priests until 1939, and archdiocesan priests celebrated Sunday liturgies until 1948, when the late Msgr. Joseph Abood came to Cincinnati from Lebanon and was appointed pastor. He served the church for the next 40 years. (1948-1987). He made the parish a very strong parish when he was pastor. He laid the foundation for what the church really is today.
Under his early leadership the parish grew and purchased the Third Street property. The church was forced to move in 1955 to make way for a roadway extension project.
Msgr. Abood led St. Anthony’s in purchasing a building on Victory Parkway that was originally built as a Jewish synagogue in 1915 and sold to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1941.
The parish celebrated liturgies in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains for about a year while the new building was renovated. An adjacent house was purchased to serve as a rectory, but has since been rebuilt. Over the years adjoining houses were purchased to expand parking facilities. In 1981, a Maronite Center capable of holding 500 people was dedicated by then-Bishop John Chedid of the Maronite Church and then-Archbishop of Cincinnati Joseph Bernardin. The center was named after Msgr. Abood.
Founding parishioners typically came to Cincinnati to escape Ottoman Empire persecutions prior to World War I, while more recent families fled the civil war in Lebanon and the Middle East in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the mid-80s and 90s, the Maronite clergy and community of St. Anthony of Padua helped and assisted in establishing and building the Maronite community of
St. Ignatius of Antioch in Dayton, OH.
In 2010 the parish celebrated its centennial, and was visited by the Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Peter Cardinal Rai, in 2016.
Today St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Catholic Church is a vibrant community serving hundreds of Maronites and Eastern Catholic faithful in the Metropolitan Cincinnati area, Northern and central Kentucky, Eastern Indiana and beyond.