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St Ann’s RC celebrates 175 years

Today, December 6, St Ann’s RC will celebrate a Thanksgiving Mass 6 p.m. in commemoration of their parish’s 175th anniversary. Parish priest,  Fr Alan Mohammed OP will preside.

The church’s creche will also be opened today.

St Ann’s history

Sr Marie-Thérèse Rétout OP captures some of its early history in her book Parish Beat (2003). She also wrote an article for the July 10, 1983 edition of the Catholic News on the dedication of the church headlined ‘Bright new look for a 139-year-old church’.

In it she reports the church was built 1844 on land donated by Jeanne Rose Langagne. The foundation was stone and walls made of timber and tapia. It could accommodate 200 people and additional land was acquired in 1857 and 1859 for expansion.

The seating rose to 280 when repairs were completed on the church in 1858. Sr Marie-Thérèse reported more extensive repairs were done during 1902–1914 and the church “considerably enlarged”.

A new apse was built in 1905. Between 1911 and 1914 the St Elizabeth wing was added to the main building and northern transept constructed 1931–1932 “giving the church its cruciform shape”.

Sr Marie-Thérèse noted that during all the renovation the Gothic style of architecture was respected “and greatly contributed to the beauty of this house of God”.

The June 22, 1983 dedication of St Ann’s RC came after more renovations were done under Fr Eugene Delahunt OP. New stained glass was installed depicting St Ann and the young Mary, St Joseph and Jesus as a young boy as well as St Joachim, the husband of Ann.

The altar was brought forward to enable parishioners seated in the transepts to see better.  Additional seating was added with the removal of two side altars. The large crucifix suspended from the ceiling was placed in the apse “where it can be seen by all although, one must admit, its size is out of proportion in such a setting”. A new public address setting was installed, and more work was to be done to improving lighting and ventilation.

In the past two years some minor work was done on the sacristy, electricals, entrance steps with addition of wrought iron railing and the doors painted. A family assisted with the renovation of the grotto.

Last month, the large cross weighing over 700 pounds was bolted to a cross beam above the altar. —LPG