Site 10: Saint Ann Room (Old Chapel)
This building was built in 1986 to provide improved living quarters for our priests, additional office and meeting space, and a chapel for the parish. (See History Walk Site 11 for more about parish rectories.)
Old Chapel: The chapel occupied this corner of the building now lined by palladian windows. The story of how it was funded demonstrates how Saint Ann has touched the lives of parishioners and non-parishioners alike.
In the 1980s, our priests, eucharistic ministers, and one Sister of Notre Dame were very active in almost-daily ministry to the patients and staff of Arlington Hospital (now Virginia Hospital Center). When the parish sought funding for its new chapel, the medical staff of the hospital became generous supporters and contributed funds for its construction and furnishing.
Chapel of Saints Cosmas and Damian in rectory building, c. 2003.
Saints Cosmas & Damian stained-glass windows.
Several donors who were doctors asked that the parish depict the early Christian martyrs Saints Cosmas and Damian among the stained-glass windows. The two saints were Arab twin brothers, skilled physicians who never took money for their services. They attracted many to the Christian faith by their charity and are the patron saints of physicians and surgeons.
The donors intended for the Cosmas and Damian windows to symbolize the connection between the physical healing of patients by hospital staff and the spiritual healing provided by our clergy and ministers to patients and staff alike. The chapel was named the Chapel of Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian in honor of this connection. Our clergy and ministers continue pastoral care at the hospital to this day.
The chapel was used for daily Masses, baptisms, convalidations of marriages, weekly rosary and benediction, Eucharistic Adoration (held Friday morning overnight to Saturday morning for many years), and for private prayer.
With the construction of the new church and chapel, the old chapel was dismantled. The windows and furnishings were transferred to the new chapel. (See History Walk Site 14.) The space stood empty except for storage while the rectory underwent renovation.
Office of Migration and Refugee Services collection of household goods for refugee families, 2008.
Saint Ann Room: This same corner of the building is now a bright spacious meeting area – the Saint Ann Room – with many uses. For example, in 2008, it served as a Migrant and Refugee Services collection site for donations from several parishes of household goods and furnishings for Bhutanese refugees arriving in Northern Virginia. Saint Ann volunteers accepted the donations, sorted and stored the goods, and arranged for MRS to transport them to the immigrant families.
For more than 15 years, Faith Formation classes, ministry meetings, and small celebrations of birthdays and anniversaries have taken place here. The Spanish Couples Group meets here for talks, small group discussions, prayer and potlucks.
The Saint Ann Room continues to offer parishioners a space to gather in fellowship to learn, work, celebrate and worship together.