Very Rev. William J. (Bill) Anton
Very Rev. Bill Anton, rector of Christ the King Cathedral, grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC, with his mother, Josephine, his father, Leonard, and his sister, Susan. His father was a Navy F-4 pilot for many years before he left the service for a civilian job in Washington. Father Bill's dad still lives in the same family home in Fairfax. Sadly, his mother passed away from cancer in 1985. His sister Susan still lives in Fairfax and is raising two sons and one daughter.
Father Bill attended Catholic schools for nine of his first twelve years. He studied engineering and computers in college at nearby George Mason Univesity, graduating with a BS in Computer Science in 1987. His first job after college was with Boeing Computer Services, under contract for the NASA Space Station project. That role brought him to Houston in 1991 where he began working for Johnson Space Center and attending Mass at Saint Bernadette in Clear Lake City.
Father Bill became more and more involved in parish life, singing in the choir and participating in a Sunday night prayer group. In May 1993, he participated in a "Christ Renews His Parish" retreat - an experience that he says "changed my life forever." He began to think about the seminary, but the Lord asked him to wait a while longer.
Through his Sunday night prayer group, Father Bill received an invitation from some people from Lubbock to travel to the city for the August 15, 1993 celebration of the Feast of the Assumption at Saint John Neumann Parish. That trip - a pilgrimmage as Father Bill describes it - was the first of several more back to Lubbock. One of those occasions was to participate in an ACTS Retreat at Our Lady of Mercy Retreat Center in Slaton in February 1994. There at that retreat he felt that God was calling him to quit his career and move to the Lubbock area. He moved to Shallowater in June 1994 and began working as an unpaid lay minister by helping to put on charismatic retreats. It was there in Shallowater that God's call finally became clear.
In January 1995, Father Bill approached Rev. Martin Pina, then vocations director of the Diocese of Lubbock, and by that fall, Father Bill was enrolled in philosophical studies at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving. In 1997, he began theological studies at Saint Mary's Seminary in Houston. In 2000, Father Bill began his year of pastoral internship at Saint Michael's in Levelland. He was ordained to the diaconate on December 15, 2001 and to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lubbock on May 25, 2002. For his first two years as a priest Father Bill served as parochial vicar, then parish administrator of Saint John Neumann in Lubbock. He also took care of Saint Theresa's in Carlisle/West Lubbock.
His first pastoral assignment began on July 1, 2004 at Saint Ann's in Morton and Saint Philip Neri in Pep. He served there until June 30, 2008. At that time, Bishop Placido Rodriguez sent Father Bill to Rome to study canon law at Pontifical Gregorian University. There he earned the Juris Canonici Licentiatus (JCL) degree. On July 1, 2011, Father Bill was assigned to Christ the King Cathedral as rector for a period of six years.