About St. Anne's
St. Anne Catholic Church was established in 1921, the ninth San Diego territorial parish within the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles. The Church Bell was dedicated and blessed by the Most Reverend John J. Cantwell, Bishop of Los Angeles-San Diego, on July 23, 1923. 1 Originally, many of the parishioners were the Italian tuna cannery workers. There was also a significant Irish population in the area. The persecution of Catholics by the Mexican government and the resulting Cristero War (1926-1929) caused a number of Mexicans to immigrate to the US. Logan Heights was where many of these refugees settled in San Diego.
The founding pastor was the Rev. Paul Dillon, O.S.A. Following establishment of the Diocese of San Diego in 1936, diocesan priests assumed responsibility for St. Anne’s when the Reverend John Purcell was appointed pastor in 1938. Fr. Purcell, who served as pastor until 1940, was followed by the Rev. John Power (1941-1942), the Rev. J.M. O’Sullivan (1943-1946), the Rev. John Morgan (1947-1955), the Rev. J.J. Verhoeven (1956-1959), the Rev. Harry Mitchell (1960-1968), the Rev. Raymond Moore (1968-1969), the Rev. Gilbert Chávez (1969-1971), the Rev. Robert Nikliborc (1971-2004) and the Rev. Armando Escurel (2004-2006).
In 1944 the marble altar currently in use was donated by Mr. And Mrs. Leo Donovan and was consecrated by the Most Reverend Charles F. Buddy, Bishop of San Diego. It is made from botticino marble imported from Italy. The relics contained in the Altar Stone are those of Sts. Gratus and Beatus, Third Century martyrs.
The Tabernacle currently in use was donated by Mrs N. Bailey in memory of her son, Lt. Joseph Norman Gates, U.S. Army Air Forces, who was killed in action in January 1942 over Western Europe.
The Sanctuary crucifix was donated by Mr. And Mrs. Andrew Ugrin in memory of their son, Coxswain John Charles Ugrin, U.S. Navy, who was killed in action on November 12/13, 1942, while serving aboard USS Atlanta (CL-51), during the naval Battle of Guadalcanal.
In 2006, the parish was disestablished due to declining attendance and a lack of priests and St. Anne’s became a mission church of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Although Sunday Masses continued to take place at St. Anne’s, weekday Masses were discontinued.
On October 7, 2008, following Pope Benedict XVI’s restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass to the liturgy of the Church, St. Anne Church was reestablished as a personal parish for the Traditional Latin Mass apostolate and was entrusted to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Fr. Carl Gismondi, FSSP, was appointed as Pastor.
In 2008-2009, under Fr. Gismondi’s direction, major repairs and re-construction were undertaken to restore St. Anne Church as a suitable House of God. The new Sanctuary floor is crema marfil and roja alicante marble imported from Spain. The Communion Rail was made in Mexico from Mexican travertine. The naive floor is elm. The confessionals and baptistery are made from various species of mahogany (Honduras, African, and Philippine.) A replacement organ was donation by currently parishioners. It is a Johannus Rembrandt three manual organ with 63 voices.
1In 1922, Bishop Cantwell received permission to divide the 90,000 square mile Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles and the Diocese of Los-Angeles-San Diego was established. In 1936 a further reorganization occurred which resulted in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the newly created Diocese of San Diego.