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About Our Parish

Humble Beginnings                       

From 65 members to over 2500 families!

The DeBary Mansion holds a special place in the hearts of the community's early citizens, as it was the site of the first Mass celebrated in DeBary. In  the spring of 1952, Rev William Neuhaus, pastor of St Peter’s Catholic Church in DeLand, was the first celebrant in DeBary for somewhere between 65 to 100 persons each Sunday for four months. Previously, these faithful had to travel ten miles to St. Peter's in DeLand or eight miles to All Souls Church in Sanford to attend Mass.

Some time later, a study group was formed by a few DeBary Catholic women. They met monthly in members homes. They greeted with enthusiasm the announcement made by Rev Father Corry of a building drive for St. Ann’s on April 28, 1960.· By  Sunday, October 1, 1961, the first Mass was sung in the new church. It seated 254, plus provided a social hall and kitchen facilities for dinners.

The parishioners of St. Ann's continually rose to the challenge of building community with a variety of social affairs, bake sales, bazaars and card parties. St. Ann's Guild was organized along with the Holy Name Society. As the faithful embraced their relationship with Christ it lead to continual growth in numbers. As the area grew in population so did the parishioners grow as disciples of Christ in the mission of His Church.    

Growing Through Change

In October of 1967, Rev John Condon was appointed the first resident pastor of St. Ann’s. On December 17, 1968 Rev James Edwards was appointed the new pastor. When he arrived he found only a church building, half of which was a parish hall. Father Edwards lived in a rented house on Columbine Trail until the long awaited rectory was built on May 8, 1970.

On November 6, 1973, ground was broken for a new parish center, to be on the north side, immediately adjacent to the church. At this time we were 618 registered families in the parish.

It became apparent we needed more worship space so on June 30, 1974 he supervised the extension of the old church and the erection of a parish center. Over the years he expanded the parish property by buying adjacent pieces.

On Saturday, October 31, 1992 the new church was dedicated. The parish had grown to 1500 families.

Today St. Ann’s has more than 2500 families and we are grateful to those who have gone before us and provided us a beautiful home to worship and serve the Lord.

 

Debary Mansion was the site of the first Mass celebrated in Debary.

 

St. Ann's 25th Anniversary was celebrated in October, 1986.

Mass of dedication of the new Church on Octorber 31, 1992.

 

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