Site 11: Rectories

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This building holds the current rectory where our clergy live as well as the multi-purpose “Saint Ann Room.” When it was built in 1986, the front of the building included a parish office with a lobby, a few small offices and meeting rooms, and our first chapel.

Current Rectory entrance.

Two earlier rectories once stood on church grounds. The first was a small white farmhouse original to the property, located on N. Fairfax Drive.  The farmhouse was renovated to serve as the new parish’s first rectory and was ready for use by June 1948.  In those pre-Route 66 days, N. Fairfax Drive ran along the south side of the property, approximately where the Custis Trail bike path is today. The first rectory sat to the south and east of where the school and convent would be built in 1951.

By early 1953, the growing Parish needed another school building, an expanded school playground, and a more suitable rectory. Parishioners supported the purchase of the old Wilkins house (complete with a dirt basement) which stood on 10th Street North, adjacent to the parish property line. The cost was $33,000. The Wilkins family sold the surrounding land that became Saint Ann Parish to the Richmond Diocese in 1941. The 1953 purchase reunited this farmhouse with the land!

First Rectory at 5215 N. Fairfax Drive, 1947.

Second rectory (1953-1986), former Wilkins house on 10th St. N.

After renovation, the Wilkins house became the second rectory in late 1953 and included a parish office on the first floor. It was located where the Saint Ann Statue and Plaza stand today. Over the years, many May Processions and Masses were held on its side lawn.

May Procession May 12, 1957, Conni Clemente, May Queen and her Court on lawn of second rectory.

The first rectory behind the school was then torn down. That land was used for an additional school play area, parking, and space for construction of the second school building. (See History Walk Site 4.)

Our priests also lived, for short time between the demolition and renovation, in Joachim Hall, the small old house just off N. Harrison Street that served many uses over the history of the parish (see History Walk Site 9).

May Crowning, Mass, and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on second rectory lawn, May 1972.

Second Rectory on 10th Street N. near the end of its life, on the occasion of the groundbreaking for new Parish Hall and Rectory, 1986.

The second rectory was demolished to make way for the current rectory and Parish Hall in 1986.

Plans for the new church included space for a new chapel, so the original chapel was converted to an open room when the current rectory building was subsequently renovated (see History Walk Site 10). Other office space in the front of the building was converted to improved clergy living quarters.

The current rectory has housed our priests since 1986. It has also been home to a number of resident clergy while they were on temporary assignments or studying nearby at Catholic University or other institutions.