St. Ann Parish in
Bristol Borough, Bucks County, has a unique history within the
Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It was founded by the Archdiocese in
1906 to meet the spiritual needs of the many Italian immigrants who
had come to America and settled in this area. Prior to the founding
of St. Ann Parish, the priests and people of St. Mark Church,
Bristol, were caring for the Italian community in the area. The
founding pastor of St Ann Parish was Fr. Paul Gentile who was succeeded by Fr.
Anthony Orlando in 1910. It was in 1916, that the first Trinitarian
arrived to assume the pastoral leadership of the new parish. With
Trinitarian Father Isadore Jenne, O.SS.T., as the Pastor, the parish
began to expand and deepen its roots within the Bristol Borough
The church building
was blessed in 1917; in 1920 St. Ann School opened up in the
convent, but had a separate building in 1927. Continued improvements
were made to all of the parish buildings, and in 1965 a new convent
was dedicated along with the new addition to the school completed in
1967. In 1981, the parish celebrated its Diamond Jubilee
Anniversary under the leadership of then pastor Fr. John DiMatteo,
O.SS.T. This Diamond Anniversary was a great tribute to the
leadership and service of all the Trinitarians through the years who
ministered to the needs of the parishioners.
Since 1981, the parish continued to grow and expand under various pastors, celebratings its 90th Anniversary in 1996 with a special Liturgy and parish banquet. Recently, it celebrated its 100th Anniversary during the entire 2006 year. There were parish gatherings, an opening liturgy with Cardinal Justin Rigali and a closing liturgy with Auxiliary Bishop Louis DeSimone. There were banquets, carnivals, pilgrimages, pasta dinners, concerts, a parish trip to a ball game, and other activities to unite the parish under our 100 year tradition of "Believing, Serving and Sharing" in the Bristol Borough Community. Currently, the leadership of the parish is under the director of Pastor Fr. James R. Day, O.SS.T., assisted by Parochial Vicar Fr. Tom Morris, O.SS.T., Both Fr. James and Fr. Tom continue to provide the spiritual opportunities
for all of our families to come to know and value Jesus in their
lives. There are approximately 1400 families within St. Ann Parish,
and the enthusiasm of the people for the parish is contagious.
There are many opportunities for spiritual growth and social
interaction. Parishioners still find the time and energy to
organize carnivals, bake sales, Pasta dinners, and are always
providing canned goods for the food bank in the Borough.
Parishioners are involved in ministry within the parish around the
altar and throughout the area, as they accept opportunities to
assist the priests and sisters in working with our people. St. Ann Parish continues to be very proud of its parish school which opened in 1920. Due to low enrollment for several years and high costs of maintaining a parish school, St. Ann School was permanently closed in June 2009. Children of the parish are able to attend other local Catholic elementary schools or enroll in our PREP program. PREP (formally called CCD) stands for Parish Religious Education Program. This PREP program is held on Wednesday nights from mid-September through May from 6 PM until 7:15 PM. Please call Religious Education Coordinator Sr. Mary Donald at 215.788.2128. PREP classes are held at our Education Building (school) at 418 Jefferson Avenue. Adult faith formation…. how special St. Ann Parish really is.
The heart of our parish is the liturgy. The
priests are committed to providing homilies which are well-prepared
and enthusiastically shared; the parishioners enjoy singing with the
cantors or the parish choirs, and the welcome that guests receive
from the people in the pews is always warm and open. It is when we
gather at the Eucharist, that we become all that we need to be as
committed Catholic women and men when we walk out of the church at
the end of the celebration.
Our leadership is
very participatory, and the pastor relies heavily on the Parish
Pastoral Council, the Parish Finance Council and other volunteers.
It is through these two organizations, that the laity provide
invaluable insight and inspiration for the direction of our parish.
There is no doubt that the recent growth and increased participation
within the parish during the last several years is because of the
mutual respect and cooperation that both the clergy and the laity
have shown to each other, as we chart new directions of spiritual
growth and parish stability.
If this is the type
of parish which you would find attractive, then please feel free to
COME AND SEE and learn with all of the other parishioners how
special St. Ann Parish really is.
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