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It is not too late to save beautiful St. Ann Church

For a century, there was growth, prosperity and prominence. In 1958, urban centers lost status to nearby suburbs. St. Ann Church, a center of education and faith practice, was not spared. In 2006, the founding Jesuits no longer staffed it, the wonderful Sisters of Saint Francis moved on and Mass attendance counted 20. There was no fund balance. Repairs could not be considered. Buckets filled with rainwater were emptied by the most able-bodied parishioner. Mass went on.

Very soon, we will be asking for help to address structural issues, roof repairs and other required improvements. We have been properly directed by the bishop to produce results that will render this a safe, strong and welcoming worship site for the next 40 to 50 years.

Just last year, Sunday Mass was offered weekly for 120 devout Catholics representing various ages, origins and ethnic backgrounds. High holy days like Holy Week, St. Ann Feast Day and German and Latin celebrations found 600 to 900 in awe-inspiring prayer. Tour groups came from Oklahoma on a chartered plane just to admire our windows, altars and shrine.

Since the mandated closure of the building for safety reasons, Mass has continued outside, in the convent and finally the former school. Wherever our stalwart group gathers, Saint Ann is never far away. We are confident that by using our fund balance along with your generosity, this historical and unique high Gothic European/American icon will display the time, announce the hours on the seven bells and illuminate the corner of Emslie and Broadway for the next half century.

Ron Bates

Hamburg