ABOUT OUR PARISH
Welcome to St. Ann's Church and our parish family!
We are formally known as the Church of Saint Ann, a Roman Catholic parish in the Diocese of Allentown, PA. Everybody calls us "St. Ann's."
Here are a few things we'd like to tell you about ourselves:
- We try to be welcoming, accessible, and relevant - applicable to your life. We know people are busy, and have many weekend options other than going to Mass.
- Our parish family is made up of people from all walks of life, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, and education. We are young, middle-aged, and old, married, single, widowed, and divorced, teachers, students, professors, scientists, engineers, business owners, accountants, doctors, nurses, managers, construction and factory workers, employed, retired, and unemployed. You can't tell much about us by how we dress, or the cars in our parking lot.
- We try to embrace the best of tradition, as well as the new.
- We are family and kid-friendly.
- We have lots of active Ministries and Organizations that do great work and need your help.
- We have an active, low pressure parish religious education program (PREP) with all kinds of kids, and multiple options for adults.
- We have a K-8 Catholic School that emphasizes caring for all aspects of our students.
- We hope you join us!
WHY WE ARE HERE - OUR PURPOSE
Our mission is to bring people to Jesus Christ, so they might have a personal relationship with Him. We bring people to Jesus by our shared experience of Word, Sacrament, service and community.
Word. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus gave us His Word in the gospels. His teaching is the basis of our living.
- Sacrament. Jesus left Sacraments to His Church to enable us to encounter Him in physical as well as spiritual ways. The Sacraments are effective and convey what they express.
- Service. Jesus commanded us to serve others. We demonstrate our love of God by love of neighbor. We reach out to those in need.
- Community. Sharing our personal example, our daily experiences and our gifts and talents with others in love, strengthens us as a community and brings us together as the body of Christ.
WHERE WE ARE - HOW TO FIND US
Our Church is located at 415 South 6th Street, Emmaus, PA 18049. Our Parish encompasses Emmaus, parts of Allentown, Lower Macungie, Upper Milford Township, and Salisbury Township.
BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. ANN PARISH
Our parish history began in 1763 when Fr. Schneider, a Jesuit Missionary, celebrated a marriage in Macunshi [Macungie], now part of St. Ann Parish. Throughout the 19th Century, the spiritual needs of the local Catholic population were met by traveling missionaries. As the immigrant population began to rise at the turn of the 20th Century, a priest from St. John the Baptist Slovak Catholic Church in Allentown visited Emmaus to celebrate Mass the 3rd Sunday of every month in a private home. By 1921, Masses were being celebrated in the second floor hall of a general store on Minor Street, as a mission of St John the Baptist Church.
Founding of the Church of St. Ann
In 1921, thirteen acres of farmland were purchased as the site for the future church building. The cornerstone for the first church was laid on Thanksgiving Day 1923. Construction of the church began in 1928 and was completed in May 1929. On June 8, 1931, Cardinal Dennis Dougherty, Archbishop of Philadelphia, formally established St. Ann's Parish. Stained glass windows (which you can still see today in our present church) were installed in the church in 1934. The rectory was constructed in 1938.
Four pastors have presided over The Church of St. Ann since its inception. Rev. Paul M. Pekarik was appointed the first pastor of The Church of St. Ann in 1930. In 1975, Rev. Fr. James E. Sweeney was appointed Pastor upon the retirement of Fr. Pekarik. In 1986, Rev. Msgr. Thomas E. Hoban was appointed Pastor upon the retirement of Fr. Sweeney. In 2008, Rev. Msgr. John S. Mraz was appointed Pastor upon the retirement of Msgr. Hoban. Many fine assistant pastors and priests also have served our parish family under the guidance of our Pastors throughout the years.
Many Sisters have served the people of St. Ann parish. From 1940-1985, the School Sisters of St. Francis served at St. Ann School. Three Benedictine Sisters resided with us, and served us from 1988-2014.
St. Ann School. In 1945, the School Sisters of St. Francis began daily and Saturday morning religious instruction for the children of St. Ann parish. St. Ann School began in 1949 with 132 students in classrooms constructed in the church basement. In 1954, the first building dedicated to St. Ann School was opened with an enrollment of 273 students. In 1957, a gymnasium and extra classrooms were added to the school. In 2000, an addition to the school with offices, science lab, library, computer lab, and kindergarten and pre-school classrooms was dedicated. In 2004, another addition with art and music rooms, and more classrooms was completed. In 2013, the school gymnasium was dedicated in honor of Msgr. Thomas E. Hoban.
The Present Church
After the congregation outgrew the original church, it was removed, and the present church building was constructed in 1982. The present church has a seating capacity of 700 people, accessible entrances, and a dedicated comforting room for small children. In 1994, stained glass doors representing the 12 apostles were installed in the church. Renovations to the church exterior and addition of handicapped restroom were completed in 2001. In 2008-2009, the refurbished tabernacle from the old church was installed in the present church, the baptismal font was rebuilt and moved, new statues of Mary and Joseph were added, and new etched glass confessional doors and Stations of the Cross were installed in the church.
St. Ann's Convent was constructed in 1951 to house eleven sisters who taught in the school. The building was repurposed in 1987, then removed in 2014. In 1988, a new convent was constructed to house the Benedictine Sisters who arrived to serve St. Ann's parish. In 1998, the convent became Transfiguration Monastery for the Benedictine Sisters. The convent was expanded in 2005 to include a larger chapel, and bedrooms for guests. In 2014, the Sisters moved to their mother house in Baltimore. In 2016, the building was renovated, and is now St. Ann's Parish Life Center, used for meetings of parish organizations and faith education programs.