The Italian American community of the Washington Metropolitan area mourns the recent passing of Beloved Scalabrinian priest Fr. Anthony Dal Balcon.
Fr. Anthony was ordained a priest of the Missionaries of St. Charles (Scalabrinians) in Italy and came to the United States in 1949. He served as an assistant pastor in New York City for eight years; then spent seven years as a free lance missionary in California ministering to many Italian communities in that region. In 1964 Fr. Anthony was appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Pompeii in New York City and Vicar Provincial of the Missionaries of St. Charles (Eastern Province). During this period he experienced the plight of many elderly people, living alone, helpless and neglected. Fr. Anthony assisted them both spiritually and financially. This work prepared him for his next job: Villa Rosa Nursing Home.
Villa Rosa Home was the dream of Fr. Nicholas De Carlo, founder of Holy Rosary Church in Washington, DC, who purchased the property which he named after his mother, Rosa. Unfortunately, Fr. De Carlo passed away in 1961 before achieving his dream. In 1965, the groundbreaking ceremony for the nursing home was held and the cornerstone laid the following year. But shortly afterwards, due to unexpected problems, construction was halted, and the property lay untouched for several months until the Archdiocese of Washington transferred ownership and responsibility of the building to the Scalabrini Fathers. The Scalabrinians appointed Fr. Anthony to take charge of the property and the unfinished structure. The first two wings, chapel and auditorium were built in 1966. The Scalabrini Fathers were given the responsibility of operating Villa Rosa in 1967, with Fr. Anthony as Administrator. In 1978, two additional wings were built and Villa Rosa became a model for other institutions.
From practically the beginning, the role of overseeing the home has rested in the hands of Fr. Anthony. For forty years, starting from humble and difficult beginnings, Villa Rosa has continued to provide quality care to elderly residents from the metropolitan area. Although the beginnings were difficult, especially because of the lack of funds, Fr. Anthony was a good captain of the ship. The Sisters and the dedicated staff created a wholesome community environment for the residents.
In 1990 Fr. Anthony was transferred to Montreal (Canada) and appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church where he worked for over ten years. He returned to Villa Rosa in 2002 and a few months later became Executive Director of the Home, a position he kept until March 2007 when he retired. He remained at the Home always ready to help and to entertain. Fr. Anthony was a longtime member of the Lido Civic Club of Washington, D.C.