Chosen and called by God under the guidance and protection of good St. Anne, we, the Catholic worshipping community of St. Anne Parish, strive to be a welcoming parish family for all people and to be of one mind and heart in Christ Jesus.
We dedicate ourselves to worship together in prayerful liturgical celebrations; to Eucharistic adoration and Marian devotion; to provide sound religious education for our young people and continued spiritual formation for all; to care for the spiritual, physical, and social well being of all our people with a predilection for the needy and poor.
Entrusting ourselves to the grace of God, we continue the legacy of those who have gone before us as we journey with Christ and each other in worship, prayer, and song and in the loving service of our God and His people.
The first pastor of St. Anne Church was Reverend John A. O'Connell who served from November 11, 1912 through November 10, 1919. He was known for his business acumen, as well as his ability to gather people for spiritual and social gatherings. Mindful that the new parish family was financially unable to donate the thousands of dollars needed to construct a rectory and a church, Father invited many of his more affluent friends from Holyoke and other communities to fundraising lawn parties.
He again invited them to whist parties, another successful fundraising venture he introduced. These card parties were popular and frequent, and in a relatively short time, sufficient funds were raised to begin building the rectory. By June 1913, Father moved into the new rectory and worship continued in the chapel for two more years.
Within two years after the rectory was built, ground was broken and this time, for the church which is our present place of worship. It was given a Flemish Gothic design, a brick building with beautiful old cathedral glass windows that face the setting of the sun. Entry to the church was through the side doors to the vestibule. The interior is North Carolina-finish woodwork stained golden oak. The nave of the church seated 540 and the choir loft easily accommodated 100 more parishioners.
On November 12, 1915, the last Mass was celebrated in the chapel. Two days later, the new church was christened at the 8 a.m. and again at the 11 a.m. Mass. The church was formally dedicated in the spring of the following year.
On October 4, 1927, Fr. Stanislaus Guillet purchased additional property from the estate of John F. Sullivan of Holyoke for $2,000. This parcel of land is the largest part of the parking lot, which abuts College Street.
During the late 1930's, there was a trend throughout the diocese that called for renovation of churches and St. Anne was no exception. Reflecting careful work and planning by Fr. T. Leon Ruty, pastor, the entire project centered on St. Anne, the guardian and protectress of our parish family. The renovation, a symphony of detail and flourish, was truly an artist's praise to God.
The Golden Anniversary was celebrated on Sunday, November 11, 1962 beginning with a Mass of thanksgiving and praise to God. The celebrants were Fr. Edward Authier, pastor, assisted by Fr. Clarence Forand, parochial vicar, and Fr. Gilbert OFM Conv. from St. Hyacinth Seminary in Granby. That evening approximately 400 people gathered at a dinner at the Wayside Inn in West Springfield. The invited guests of honor were two former pastors, Fr. Leon Ruty and Fr. Henry Auger. Fr. Ruty, then retired in Ware, was unable to attend.
In 1964, under the direction of Fr. Edward Authier, pastor, the old chapel was demolished and removed to make way for a new addition at the rear of the church. Ground breaking ceremonies officiated by the Most Rev. Bishop Christopher Weldon took place on April 27, 1964.
The new structure designed by Roberval J. Hubert, of South Hadley, was a combination of brick and fieldstone, which did not distract from the style of the church. It was to be oil heated, with no cellar and the ceiling at its highest point would be 14 feet.
In addition to the parish hall, an altar room, two meeting rooms, an infant room, a coat room, and two rest rooms, were included in the plans. The lower portion of the sanctuary wall was replaced by a 22-foot wide walnut screen which when opened allowed the altar of the church to be visible from the 650-capacity parish hall. The small sacristy to the right of the altar was enlarged time filling a corner created by the new addition. A door was cut through from the church to the sacristy to gain access to the parking lot. Also included in the project was the removal and replacement of the original garage by a two-car garage for the pastor and curate's use. Msgr. Walter F. Connell dedicated the addition on Thanksgiving Day 1964 with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
During Fr. Authier's tenure as pastor, plans and estimates for enlarging the rectory were submitted. The front porch was enclosed and a second floor was added. Along side of the rectory, the porch was enclosed leaving only a small portion of the original one. This gave the original six-room house four additional rooms; a foyer, a reception room, a rectory office, and a larger kitchen. The pastor and parochial vicar's personal study were added to the second floor.
A lovely stained glass window was added in the rear of the parish hall in l983 in memory of Mildred Sullivan, the mother of Fr. Francis X. Sullivan, pastor. The window is divided into three portions illustrating the three legends of St. Anne. The left depicts the angel's promise of a child for her and Joachim, the center portrays Anne instructing Mary in the precepts of Jewish Law and the last section represents the Presentation of Mary in the Temple where she was dedicated to God.
HISTORY OF ST. ANNE PARISH PASTORS
Father John A. O'Connell November 11, 1912 - November 10, 1919 Father Victor Epinard November 13, 1919 - October 11, 1925 Father Stanislaus Guillet October 11, 1925 - July 15, 1928 Father T. Leon Ruty July 15, 1928 - July 2, 1944 Father Henry J. Auger July 9, 1944 - February 1, 1955 Father Edward G. Authier February 1, 1955 - September 7, 1970 Father William F. Breen September 23, 1970 - June 17, 1972 Father Raphael A. Posco June 17, 1972 - June 21, 1973 Father Francis X. Sullivan June 21, 1973 - July 13, 1985 Father Roland Galipeau July 14, 1985 - October, 1995 Father J. Victor Carrier October 28, 1995 - February 28, 2003 Father William C. Rousseau June 1st, 2003 - present
Baptisms are celebrated on the last Sunday of the month and require previous arrangements and instructions. Please contact the rectory at 532-7503.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday 3 p.m., or by appointment.
Sacrament of the Sick
Please notify the rectory if anyone is either hospitalized, confined to a nursing home, or is home bound, so that we may keep them in prayer, visit and support them with the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick.
Sacrament of Marriage
Please contact the Pastor one year in advance to begin paperwork and set up dates for Pre-Cana program and spiritual conferences.