Annunciation Church

Annunciation Parish was founded in July 1950, when portions of Holy Redeemer and Mary Queen of Peace Parishes were used to form the new parish. There were originally 292 families in the Parish.

The first mass was celebrated by the Reverend Arthur J. Ryan on Sept. 10, 1950 in temporary quarters in the basement of the Sisters of Mercy Convent, (now the Lutheran Convalescent Home), on Laclede Station Road.

Ground was broken for the combination church/school building on Jan. 13, 1952. Annunciation School opened Oct. 13, 1952 under the direction of the Sisters of Mercy. The 392 students in grades Kindergarten through Eighth were taught by five nuns and two lay teachers. Our first Principal was Sr. Mary De Lourdes, and succeeding Principals through the years have been; Sr. Mary Maureen, Sr. Mary Katheryn, Sr. Mary Barbara, Sr. Mary Vianney, Sr. Patrick Mary, Sr. Mary Katheryn, Sr. Mary Vianney, Mrs. Mary Rath, Mrs. Ann Cleeland, Mrs. Catherine Davis and Mr. Michael Biggs. Under the direction of these individuals, the school fulfilled the promises and hope of its opening day. Our school closed on June 30, 2012. On July 1, 2012, our parish joined with St. Michael the Archangel, Our Lady of Providence, and Seven Holy Founders to form Holy Cross Academy.

The next milestone was the completion of the church building and the celebration of the first Mass on May 3, 1953.

In 1960 the old Rectory, (a white frame house, which was located on the current church driveway), was replaced with the current rectory building.

The Parish School of Religion was formed in 1962 with Alice Bante and Ann Hildebrand as co-principals. Over the years, the PSR has been staffed by dedicated volunteers. Its enrollment exceeded 300 students at its peak and currently has 105 students under the direction of Mrs. Margaret Kelly.

Father Ryan served as pastor until 1965, and as Pastor Emeritus until 1966 when he retired due to ill health and took up residence at Regina Cleri until his death on Nov. 13, 1968.

Reverend John P. Cradick became administrator in 1965 and pastor in 1966, serving in that capacity until his death on Nov. 7, 1971. Because of the ill health of Fr. Cradick, Fr. Robert Argent served as administrator from February 1971 until 1972.

Under Fr. Cradick's direction the Parish Council, one of the first organizations of its kind in the Archdiocese, was formed in March 1967.

In 1968 the parish acquired the property at 43 Short Avenue and remodeled the existing house for a convent. Previously the sisters had lived at the Mercy Convent on Laclede Station Road. In 1993, the house was renovated and is currently being used for additional meeting space for the parish.

In August, 2001, the parish celebrated the dedication of the Parish Center, "A Center For All Ages." This structure provided a gym/auditorium, three additional classrooms for the school, two parish meeting rooms, a parish library, a new office for the parish school administration and a serving kitchen.

In February 2002, an addition to the church was completed, a bright airy vestibule, offering much appreciated space for fellow parishioners to meet, greet and socialize before and after mass.

The Board of Education, which began operating in March of 1969, serves as an advisory committee to the pastor and principal in making policy for the operation of the Parish educational activities.

Many other organizations have served our parish family over the years. The Woman's Guild and Men's Club, formed in 1952, played an active role from our beginning. A current list of organizations serving our parish can be found elsewhere in this site.

Reverend Msgr. Bernard E. Granich was appointed pastor in 1972 and served in that capacity until June 1983 when the Reverend Robert G. Ditch was appointed pastor. In June of 1995, Reverend Denny M. Schaab was appointed pastor. In February 2005 to January 2010, Reverend Mark A. Dolan was appointed pastor. In January 2010, Reverend Bob Evans was appointed. June 2011 through June 2013 Reverend John Ghio joined the parish as Priest in Residence.   In June 2013 Reverend Msgr. Mark Rivituso, V.G. moved into the rectory as Priest in Residence.

In addition to the pastors, a large part of our leadership and works have been supplied by the associate priests who have served and continue to serve the people of Annunciation since 1950. These associates include Reverend Fathers Michael P. Owens, Thomas T. Davidson (deceased 1973), John E. Vogler, Donald J. Koch, Michael T. Quigley, Robert W. Argent, Leo J. Markarewicz, Don G. Brinkman, John J. Leykam, Wayne C. Foppe (deceased 1982), Michael F. Hunn, Robert J. Suit, Michael Dieckmann, Daniel Mosley and John G. Klocker (deceased 2002).

Furthermore, the parish has benefited from the service of deacons over the years. Specifically, Deacon Richard C. Lake (1985-1992) and Deacon Thomas E. Forster and Deacon Dennis Chitwood. (2005 to June 2009.)

As in any parish history, we write primarily about our leadership, namely our priests and teachers, and even about buildings, but the history of a parish is really about the progress the parish family makes in being more Christlike for having been a part of that parish. All of our current families are a part of that continuing progress and we are all proud of our beautiful parish title, "The Annunciation."

The history of the Annunciation Parish covers a period of years are rich in memories. It is a story of challenges met by the parishioners through cooperation and generous financial support that continues, as we meet the future hand with God our Father and Mary our Mother.