St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Midland, TX:
Mission Statement — giving witness to Christ in relationship with God and one another.
Directions: St. Ann’s Catholic Church is located in downtown Midland, at 1906 West Texas Avenue. We are across Illinois Avenue from Midland Memorial Hospital.
St. Ann’s was the first Catholic Church established in Midland. Missionary priests had come from Stanton since the 1880s to offer the Masses in Midland and finally the cornerstone for a church was laid on October 26, 1896. Located on the northwest corner of Texas Avenue and Dallas Street, the tiny church was built of Pecos sandstone and a few hardy families.
The oil boom of the late 1920s brought a boom of new parishioners. On July 8, 1933, St. Ann’s was formally named as a parish of the Diocese of Amarillo. The church building was enlarged and the Catholic Extension Society donor stipulated that its name be changed to “St. George.”
In 1937, Fr. Edward Harrison, OMI, acquired a block of land at 2000 West Texas Avenue and the parish began to develop in its current location. As the congregation expanded, they purchased the chapel at Midland Army Air Field and moved it to the corner of West Texas Avenue and M Street. Opening in October, 1948, the name of the parish reverted to St. Ann’s.
St. Ann’s School was begun in 1950, staffed by the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. It now serves over 400 students. For those not attending Catholic School, the Parish School of Religion (PSR) has for many years provided formation in the faith. There are currently about 500 PSR students and many dedicated volunteer catechists.
Fr. Thomas J. Kennedy, OMI, became pastor of St. Ann’s in 1951; he is remembered for his Irish charm and his significant leadership in the parish. People responded generously when he announced the construction of a new church building. It was dedicated on December 9, 1959 and is still seen as modern and beautiful in its design today. Fr. Kennedy retired in 1970.
The people of St. Ann’s have always been actively involved in their parish, school and community. Many family-oriented activities, small Christian communities, service clubs, and study groups engage the parishioners. Birthright was established by St. Ann’s parishioners; the parish also has a partnership with Santisima Trinidad parish in Honduras. St. Ann’s Family Fair is an event for the whole city.
Three other parishes have been established in Midland, and St. Ann’s remains strong and growing; there are currently 1695 families on its rolls.