June 14 – Happy Birthday Father Anthony Sidoti

The two uniforms of Father Anthony Sidoti
The two uniforms of Father Anthony Sidoti

It is all together fitting that on this Flag Day Sunday we celebrate the birthday of Father Anthony Sidoti. Born in Brooklyn on June 14, 1914, Father Sidoti’s parents moved upstate to Amsterdam seven years later and lived in homes on both Forbes and Union Streets. Devoted Catholics, the Sidoti’s were parishioners of St. Michael’s Church and young Anthony was a student at St. Mary’s Institute, graduating from there in 1930. He then graduated from Niagara University and made the decision to go into the priesthood, which culminated in his ordination in 1940. His celebratory first mass took place at his home Parish, a packed-to-the-rafters St. Michael’s Church and was followed by a dinner at the Elks Club on Division Street, attended by well over 100 guests. Amsterdam Mayor Arthur Carter was one of the speakers and in his remarks referred to the war then going on in Europe, telling the assemblage the world needed more young men like Sidoti to lead us in prayers for peace.

As we now know, those prayers were not answered and Sidoti, whose first church assignment was assistant pastor of Mt. Carmel Parish in Gloversville, NY, enlisted in October of 1942. He became Chaplain of the US Army’s 358th Infantry Regiment of the 90th Infantry Division. At first he saw action in the Pacific and then was transferred to the Atlantic theater. Stationed in Ireland, he crossed the Channel with the invasion forces and remained with them on their march to Germany. Along the way he put his own life in danger on a consistent basis, tending to the injured and dying on the battlefield. In France, he won a…

You can read the rest of my story about this Amsterdam priest and war hero in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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