Welcome to St. Anthony's Book & Gift Shop, LLC, or as a young man named Gordon named it many years ago, "The God Shop". My name Is Kathleen and I started this store back about 20 years ago.
My oldest daughter was 3 and my twins were 8 months old when I had herniated 2 discs in my lower back. It was when I was laid up that I realized that my self employed husband didn't go to work on a regular basis, and his drinking was becoming a daily bad habit.
As you could imagine, I prayed and did a lot of talking with God. I would pray for the usual: heal me, comfort me in my pain and give me the strength to carry on. To deal with an alcoholic husband and be able to take care of three small children.
Then one day a neighbor called to tell me about a healing mass that was going to be going on at a local church. She said that she really didn't believe in that stuff, but would take me as she knew I did. It was at that healing mass I prayed and made a deal with God. My deal? I prayed, "God I know you can turn water into wine, and can make the storms stop, walk on water, cure the sick, make the blind see, etc. If you can help me walk and take care of my family, I will share your word with everyone that I can!" I did walk out of that church better then when I walked in, maybe not healed, but definitely "Blessed."
And this was the beginning of me selling religious items. I started selling books and jewelry at my church and then began taking special orders. I went from the church to a small rent in downtown Seymour. It was owned by a lovely little old man, Teddy Rogal, who gave me the key on a hand shake! Word got out and people would come from all over to my little God Shop!
I named the store, St. Anthony's Book & Gift Shop, LLC. St. Anthony is the patron saint of the poor and lost souls, which I think a lot of us are. After 9/11, a lot of people reevaluated their lives, including me. With things not getting any better in my marriage and my children being exposed to a less then ideal home life, I filed for divorce.
Opening the store allowed me to take my children to work with me. When they were sick, I was able to be home with them. I would pick them up at school and bring them back to the store. They all knew how to ring the register, and answer the phone with a smile and to help customers pick out gifts! I was able to support my children and take care of them with tremendous help from my parents and from the Lord! Has it been easy? No, but I know that God has always blessed me and my family, and I am so grateful for His never ending love for us.
The store filled a gap where people could buy a special religious items for a baptism, communion, confirmation, etc. My store was moved around the corner after 3 years. The store was now on Main Street in Seymour for 13 years. Then 3 years ago I got the opportunity to move to Main Street in Derby. Last May 2015, The State of Connecticut purchase the building that St. Anthony's was in, and the store was in eminent domain with the state. So we just made our move down the street to 461 Derby Avenue in Orange, Connecticut! This move, I am fairly confident will be our permanent home and look so forward to serving you!
St. Anthony's is a full service ecumenical store, serving from birth to death! We carry church goods, books, indoor and outdoor statuary, angels, rosaries, pictures, jewelry in sterling silver, gold filled and 14kt gold. We also carry 12 Step Material, AA Brass and Aluminum Coins.
I hope that we can be your go to store for those special gifts. And if you don't see an item, please feel free to call the store at 203-888-3390. We would be happy to serve you! May God bless you today and always!