History of Saint Ann

The religious and cultural life of Hoboken has run broad and full from the beginning.  As the population grew and persons of varied nationalities came to reside in the area, so also grew the necessity of providing facilities to care for the spiritual needs of the people.  Thus, the Most Reverend John J. O’Conner, Bishop of Newark, canonically erected our own beautiful Parish of Saint Ann, Hoboken, New Jersey, in May 1900, to administer to the spiritual needs of the growing Italian-speaking populace.

On November 1, 1925, at the Feast of All Saints, Monsignor Eugene Carroll officiated at the laying of the cornerstone of the new Church of Saint Ann.  The new church was opened on December 12, 1927.  The magnificence of the temple, remarkable for its pure Romanesque architecture, the monumental marble alter towering in the sanctuary, the elegance of the stained-glass windows and the flood of light effused throughout the interior of the church coupled with the majestic harmony of the organ music and the rhythmic concert of the bells ringing in the steeple, dazzled the senses and inspired one and all to praise and glorify God.
 
Father Mauro Landini arrived in 1947 and began a renovation to make the church more beautiful.  Bronze chandeliers were installed, and a sector of the rectory’s garden was transformed into a square in the middle of which was placed an inspiring statue of our Lady of Fatima made in Italy of Carrara marble.  In 1973, Father Richard Baranello had an air-conditioning system installed in the church providing a haven for worship and prayer untroubled by the weather.  In recognition of the 85th Feast of Saint Ann, the Hoboken City Council at the request of Mayor Anthony Russo voted unanimously in 1995 to rename the section of Jefferson Street in front of the church and Friary as “Saint Ann’s Square.”

 Following in the footsteps of their founder, Saint Francis of Assisi, the Capuchin Franciscan Friars are called to a life of dedication and service.  The spirit of unity and community has been a hallmark of the Church of Saint Ann from its beginning as an Italian-American parish and continues to be so today.  Liturgical functions, sacramental programs and the celebration of traditional feasts of the Universal Church and of the Parish of Saint Ann continue to provide the opportunity for spiritual growth and community.

A culmination point is reached each year with the celebration of the Feast of Good Saint Ann, patroness of our parish, when the parish spirit of community is renewed in a grand manner.  The past and present are linked as former parishioners return home in large numbers to join with present parishioners in the expression of a deep and abiding faith in, and love of, God and devotion to Good Saint Ann—to join together in the celebration of our feast.

The Parish of Saint Ann is typical, and yet unique.  It is a family parish, and it is a parish family where the parishioners combine their efforts to provide a wholesome spiritual, social and recreational climate in which each member of the family can develop to the fullest his spiritual and temporal potential.  Saint Ann’s Parish has successfully met the challenges of the past and will likewise meet those of the future, where its greatest works lie.  Saint Ann’s Church stands as a magnificent temple of worship reflecting the solidarity of a people with a deep and abiding love for their God and respect and loyalty for their church.

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