It all started with the kindness of a woman, who like the widow in the gospel, was so incredibly generous with what God had given to her. In 1854, the widow Anne Lucas-Hunt donated the land along with a monetary donation to the Jesuit Order “to establish a church and see to the education of the children” in her beloved Normandy, Missouri. The Jesuits then tasked Fr. Peter DeSmet with the project of establishing St. Ann church. In him we know a parish founded with a missionary spirit. St. Ann was his ‘home’ when his feet were not on the road proclaiming the good news to the Native American Indians. Our first pastor, Fr. Adrian Van Hulst, would make the journey from the Jesuit provincial house at the corner of Lindell Boulevard and Grand Avenue by horse and carriage. It was said that he was so punctual that farmers could set their watches by his approach. In him, we see the virtue of a steadfast, faithful presence.
Generosity, missionary spirit and steadfast presence – these are the foundational gifts at the heart of this parish community. And these are the lived virtues that continue to guide the community we call St. Ann parish. My hope is these web pages will give you a glimpse into this vibrant, welcoming parish and the people who have been “Living Faith Since 1856…”