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Saint Ann Church

Wabash Valley profiles : a series of tributes to hometown people and events that have shaped our history

Description: One typed page including photograph; brief history of Saint Ann Church.
ABASH VALLEY WP R O F I L E SA series of tributes to hometown people and events that have shaped our history.Saint Ann Churchaint Ann Church evolved in 1876 from the parish established by the Rev. Michael Quinlan at the chapel located at Saint Anns Orphanage. The initial building was a modest frame structure at the northeast corner of 14th and Locust streets. A small two-room school was built on the back of the lot. The first recorded baptism at the church was Aug. 10, 1876. The parish was beset with financial difficulty from the beginning and Father Quinlan was transferred in May 1877. Until Father John McCabe was designated to replace him in 1878, Saint Ann Church was a mission of St. Josephs, Terre Hautes mother church. Despite McCabes efforts, the number of parishioners declined. Rev. McCabe was succeeded on July 3, 1885, by the Rev. John Ryves, the priest destined to place the parish on solid ground. Ryves became an institution, serving the community for 43 years. Soon after being transferred to Terre Haute, he purchased land east of the church. In 1890 the existing church was moved to the new lot and in 1893 a new rectory was built at the site of the former church. Though the church was severely damaged by fire on July 1, 1894, a larger place of worship was resurrected at the site from insurance proceeds and contributions. Under Ryves leadership, the congregation grew, reaching 750 members by 1900. On Dec. 9, 1901, acreage on the northwest corner of 14th and Locust streets was acquired from grocer Joseph Frisz for $2,000. Ryves hoped to eventually erect a cathedral at the site. However, the need for a new school made a different building more imperative. In late 1905, work commenced on a yellow brick school-church combination immediately west of the old church. There was a four-room school on the first floor and a church, accommodating 500 people, on the second. The cornerstone was laid in 1906. The congregation continued to multiply, reaching 1,845 by 1920, making it the citys largest Catholic parish. To alleviate overcrowding, Sacred Heart Church and school were founded at Twelve Points in 1924 by Ryves assistant pastor, Father Aloysius Duffy. Father Ryves vision to build a cathedral west of 14th Street did not materialize. In 1926 a basement large enough to accommodate a gymnasium, auditorium and social hall was completed at the site, now known as Ryves Hall. On June 7, 1928, Ryves resigned from his pastoral duties due to declining health. He died in Terre Haute June 25, 1933, at age 74. During the Depression successive pastors struggled to keep the parish afloat. Little progress was made until the arrival of Father James Hickey in June 1944. Through creative fundraising, Rev. Hickey and a core of faithful parishioners made major improvements to the church and school, built a new convent and liquidated all debt. In January 1950 permission was granted to build a new church and rectory. The cornerstone was laid by Archbishop Paul C. Schulte on Feb. 1, 1953, on lots east of the original church property. The present Saint Ann Church was dedicated on June 21, 1953.STERRE HAUTE(812) 238-6000NATIONAL BANKAlways Close to HomeDate published: October 12, 2000Filename: Saint Ann Church profile
Origin: 2000-10-11
Created By: McCormick, Mike
Publisher: Terre Haute Tribune-Star
Collection: Vigo County Historical Society
Copyright: Copyright Undetermined
Subjects: Churches
Catholic churches
Religious facilities
Religious education

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