"To those who came before and by their sacrifice made this record possible." ~ Upon This Foundation, 1987
In the summer of 1935, Fr. John Gannon was assigned to St. Leo's Parish. We were known as the Italian Mission Church at St. Leo's. The 9am Mass there became our Mass since it was said in Italian by Fr. John Gannon. Recognizing the need for our own parish, Vittoria Novelli inspired a group of Italian women to "unite as one and work together." This was the beginning of St. Anna Parish. By November 1935, Bishop Thomas M. O'Leary granted the request to purchase Lincoln Hall on Lancaster Street.
On March 7, 1937, the first Solemn High Mass was celebrated at St. Anna with Fr. Slattery as the celebrant and Fr. John Gannon as the deacon. At this time, we were still a mission church.
On November 12, 1939, we became St. Anna Parish and Fr. Gannon was named administrator. Under his leadership, we flourished, and by 1950 our church was transformed into a beautiful Italian Renaissance style building with three marble altars and new pews to accomodate 600 people.
On October 2, 2013, we celebrated the installation of our seventh pastor, Rev. Father Frederick D. Fraini, III.