- CA RCDCA AR A1
- Corporate body
The need for St. Ann’s Church in Calgary arose out of the moving of St. Patrick’s chapel. St. Patrick’s was built on the east of the Elbow River 1883. The C.P.R train station was built to the west of the Elbow and this shifted the cities development to that area. Thus, St. Patrick’s chapel was moved to near the current location of St. Mary’s Cathedral in 1884 to be part of the growing city. Some Catholics though remained near St. Patrick’s previous location in the east. Due to the significant travel distance (to St. Patrick’s or Holy Cross) to mass each Sunday the Catholics in this area desired a new Chapel.
Thereby, in May 1908 Catholics in the area requested that they could have a Chapel closer to them in the east. For fifteen dollars a month a store (9th Avenue between 11th and 12th Street S.E) was rented out to serve as the Chapel for around forty people. The first mass was said by Rev. L. Culerier O.M.I (assistant at St. Mary’s Cathedral). Later Rev. J. Lestanc O.M.I. would also preside over mass for the Chapel. This location was not large enough for the resident’s needs. Mass was even held in Haskins Hall (9th Avenue between 12th and 13th Street S.E.) and in another store (9th Avenue and 12th Street S.E.).
At this point (1908) there were only around seven or eight families in the area using these make shift Churches. The residents requested to Bishop Legal on April 15 1909 for a proper Church to be created. They received permission to build a Chapel on 1500 8th Avenue S.E..
The Church’s name came from Father Lestanc who had been a mission priest at the small makeshift Chapels. He was devoted to St. Ann and he hoped that giving it such a name would encourage more vocations.
St. Ann’s opened for Mass on August 8, 1910. Father Jan and Father Nelz were officiating. The canonically erection was on December 16, 1910 and the Church was served by priests from St. Mary’s until December 1911. It was entrusted by Bishop Legal to the Priests of St. Mary’s of Tinchebray (who would serve from 1911-1916). Rev. L. Forget S.M.T. was the Churches first pastor and Rev. L. Anciaux S.M.T. was the assistance.
St. Ann’s first school opened in 1910 and was located over the Church’s vestry. Then they created a one room school and basement in the Church. By 1911 the needs of the population demanded that a larger four-room school (two rooms opening 1912 and the other two in 1918) was to be created (21st Avenue and 9th Street S.E.). This school was in an important and convenient location for the parishioners and they decided to move the St. Ann’s Church in 1913 to 8th Street and 21st Avenue S.E. In this new location the Church served Catholics from south and east from the Bow and Elbow River to Midnapore. This area was presided over until 1927 (when Holy Trinity mission was built) and more territory was lost in 1931 when Our Lady of Perpetual Help took charge of the Holy Trinity mission.
The Priests of St. Mary Tinchebray let in 1916 and then Rev. W.E. Cameron became the first secular priest for them. The priest’s first rectory was built in 1915 by the community and this building was later sold to the Precious Blood Sisters in 1951. At that time Rev. E.L. Doyle built a new rectory for the Priests.
In 1958 the community saw the creation of a new Church. This was built with the support of Msgr. Doyle and was blessed November 23rd by Bishop Carroll. The old Church building was then used as the parish hall until 1965 when a new one was created.
The population of the Church expanded to 200 families by the 1970s, but was decreased as the surrounding population aged (by 1999 there were 76 families). The Church kept a close tie with St. Ann’s school until 1984 when it became a Francophone Elementary, Junior High and High School. The Church had ties with Lithuanian Catholics and held Reconciliation and Mass for them yearly. Father F. Mongeau also celebrated mass for a First Nations population from 1992 to 1995. In 1995 the Spanish community of St. Mary’s Cathedral used the Parish hall and facilities of St. Ann’s (until St. Paul’s Church became theirs). From 1994-1996 Father Rolando Badiola served the Filipino communities monthly Mass from St. Ann’s. In 2000 St. Ann merged with St. Mary’s Cathedral. By 2002 the Korean congregation moved to St. Ann’s and the Parish became known as St. Ann’s Korean Parish.