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Karl R. Josker | all galleries >> Galleries >> Lofty Photos > St.Ann's RC Church, Broadway and Emslie, Buffalo, NY
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8-28-03 Karl R. Josker

St.Ann's RC Church, Broadway and Emslie, Buffalo, NY

St. Ann's is located on Broadway, and is a monster complex of buildings. There are schools, convents, rectory's and other buildings, in addition to a great church building. Unfortunately, the steeples were removed long ago, and as impressive as it is today, I can only imagine what it was like years ago. I have read that at one time, St. Ann's had the largest church school in the world - over 2000 students. I don't know it's status today. Most of the buildings are in some use; the church itself is intact, but a coating of dust is on everything.

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Karl R. Josker29-Oct-2016 23:39
Pauline: thanks for sharing your memories of St. Ann's.
Pauline Abbotoy 27-Oct-2016 18:11
I went to St Anns from 1940 to 1945 and went to the Child Care Center ran by Father
James Ball SJ. I was also baptized and married by Father Ball.
Please respond
Renee L-H 29-Dec-2013 04:00
Also, back in the 1960's my Mother brought our family weekly to this church for their Our Lady of Perpetual Help devotions (if I recall correctly).
Renee L-H 29-Dec-2013 03:58
This church has been closed to the public due to structural problems. I believe the parish members are fighting for an Historic Site recognition...which may encourage the diocese to contribute to restoration of the church.
SUE 24-Sep-2011 19:07
ANNA MARIE 21-Sep-2011 22:35
anna marie 09-Apr-2011 19:02
I was born the day after the feast of St. Anne,
I was baptized Anna Marie
I was baptized at St Ann's
I made the Sacraments of Holy Communion, Confirmation there.
I went to their Child Care Center, I think, started by Father James Ball S.J.
I went to school there for 8 years,
I graduated from St. Ann's
I went skating upstairs of St. Ann's school.
I worked at the skating rink, once a week, and skated there twice a week.
I went to St. Ann's Business school, which they later called Bishop McMahon...
I never was married, but, I want to be married there, whenever I Do......
joseantonio27-Jul-2010 18:55
Lovely perspective
Theressa Johnson 10-Mar-2010 19:12
I went to St Ann's from 1961-1969. The principal at that time was Sister Francita. My 8th grade teacher was Sr Marie Davis who recently passed away (God Bless her). My 6th grade teacher was Sister Irene Marie. She ran the CYO softball team and girls basketball team in 1970-71. The priests at that time were Father VerSchneider and Father Gannon. Does anyone have any information on them?
St. Ann's Church and Shrine 02-Mar-2010 01:35
St. Ann's invites you to Mass every Sunday at 10 AM. Tours available upon request. 4th Annual German Mass to be held Sunday, April 18th at 10 AM. Schwaben Chor will sing... all invited. For more info. call (716) 852-0100 or see our Facebook page at:
St. Ann's Church and Shrine 14-Jan-2010 04:57
St. Ann's is alive and well with Mass every Sunday at 10 AM. Stay connected through our Facebook: and All are welcome, see you soon!
Adam 20-Apr-2009 05:27
St. Ann's is having a German Mass celebrating Buffalo's German Catholic Heritage on Sunday, April 26 at 10am. The Schwaben Chor, will be singing for the mass. Please feel free to attend a unique and beautiful service. Bring your camera's and take in the beauty this German Gothic church.
Adam 28-Jan-2009 06:42
St. Ann's Church and Shrine is still open for mass every Sunday at 10am. It is open for tours after mass, as well as by appointment. Bus and group tours are welcome. Please stop by and visit. Refreshments served after masses.
Pray to the relics of St. Ann, which is found to provide miraculous healing. Devotions to St. Ann are said at 9:45, the first Sunday of every month.
Call (716) 852-0100 for details on events and to schedule special tours. All donations appreciated. More information on upcoming events can be found at and History of the church can be found at
Amy LaPietra 12-Nov-2008 05:32
I am a decendant of the Beigers and Schwabls whose family members I am sure attended St. Anna' named on an 1894 map...or St. Mary's. I am dismayed to learn of the impending disappearance of this gorgeous parish and edifice. Something must be done. I hope we are not too late. Those empty lots that line Broadway are the reason there are no parishoners. How could all the houses and businesses there in 1894 have vanished so completely ? Perhaps Buffalo made the mistakes and not the Diocese. Surely it is easier to commune with God in St Anna's as opposed to a newer, more pristine church. Perhaps sterile is the word I am looking for. Roman Catholicism is nothing if not ritualistic and reverent. St. Anna's speaks to both.
Saint Ann's Church and Shrine 27-Aug-2008 19:23
Saint Ann’s will honor and pray for all of its deceased parishioners with a Requiem Mass on Saturday, September 13th at 12 Noon.

It will be a special service celebrated entirely in Latin according to the old Tridentine Rite, the liturgy that most of the members throughout the parish’s century and a half of worship would recognize. All are invited to get out their missals and mantillas and experience (again) this unique form of prayer.

The Readings and homily will be in English. Secure parking and tours available.

For more info call 716.852.0100
Wayne Rettke 08-Aug-2008 18:56
This is both an extraordinary piece of architecture and a living group of worshipers both of which the diocese is willing to abandon! When I was there last time I was shocked that so few cars were outside I thought there would be no one inside ...wrong! Many of the parishioners either walk or bus to mass. Lets just abandon them let them sit at home or listen to a broadcast. Shodyy way to treat people. This facility supported the diocese through its' groth period and now that it needs the support of the whole church lets let it close. Wrong thinking. Couldn't just one of the mega churches, St Leo, St Gregory the Great just schedule one mass a year at St Anns? Wouldn't that be a Christian thing to do ? If not attend the church on Broadway dedicate one collection a year to its' support . If this facility closes whilst others can afford luxuries shame on both the diocese and the bishop
David Snyder 07-Jul-2008 11:17
As the Catholic Diocesan leadership seems to be talking about profit and loss, maybe they should lose their tax exempt status. Also, I think the people writing here don't understand that the Catholic Church is not a democratic institution, but is structured like a monarchy...the leaders don't answer to you.
dave hirschbine 29-Jun-2008 23:19
as of 6/29/08 st. anns is alive and still working to remain open we know that st. brigit/columbia is a great community but we feel that st anns is just as good if not better cmmmunity we ask any one who wants to help us please get in touch
TOM TWIST 26-Jun-2008 03:51
Get over it people. The church is beautiful but listen . God Has a Plan. Merge with St columba- brigid they are good people..
Friends of St. Ann's 17-Apr-2008 22:32
Saint Ann's Church and Shrine's Annual German Mass will be celebrated Sunday, April 20 at 10 AM. The Buffalo Schwaben Chor will sing Schubert's Deutsche Messe in F. Fr. Lawrence Milby, pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Orchard Park will preside. Secure parking. Willkommen!
Friends of St. Ann's 12-Jan-2008 17:19
St. Ann's is proud to announce that it will again host the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mass and Celebration on Monday, January 21 at 1 PM.

Bishop Edward Grosz will be the main celebrant. Preaching will be Father David Jones, pastor of St. Benedict Church, Chicago. Guest director of music ministry will be Jackie Peoples.

A celebration of local talent, tributes, poetry, and dance will follow the Mass in the church. Please come and join the celebration.
Friends of St. Ann's 09-Jan-2008 01:06
St. Ann's kick-off celebration for its 150th Anniversary was on Sunday, January 4. Many more special liturgies and other functions will take place through September.

See: for more information.
Guest 30-Nov-2007 01:09
my name is dave hirschbine and i am a member of st. anns andcan be reached at anyone who is willing to help keep st anns open and alive we can use your help please e mail me
Guest 16-Oct-2007 03:07
St. Ann's Church and Shrine, consecrated in 1886, is still open and very much alive, however it is scheduled to close shortly after its 150th Anniversary celebration in the fall of 2008. If you are familiar with St Ann's, you know that it is a stupendous example of Gothic Revival Architecture, rivaling the great cathedrals of France and Germany. Should it close in the fall of 2008, will this marvel of Germanic craftsmanship and stunning beauty go the way of Transfiguration on Sycamore? Transfiguration is just an idle shell waiting for the wrecker's ball. Or that of St. Mary's at Broadway and Pine, which sat idle for years then burned under mysterious circumstances in 1986. Or Christ Lutheran which was 2 blocks east and now is nothing. Or that of St. Joseph's new cathedral, which was deemed too expensive to repair because it needed a new $1 million roof, so it was wrecked. You couldn't replace 10% of St Ann's windows for $1 million. St Ann's Church and Shrine is all there, all original and still alive. It is a living art gallery, museum and house of worship. We need to do everything possible to save St Ann's, to keep it open and convince the Buffalo Diocese to not close it. If it should close, it will be dead. View the pictures of Transfiguration on the web and imagine that they are of St. Ann's. You'll get sick! Visit St Ann's Church and Shrine and support it in every way possible!
Guest 20-Sep-2007 04:08
St Ann's was given the ability to stay open until July of 2008, in order to celebrate its 150th anniversary. At that time it is scheduled to be merged with St Columba Brigid, and no longer remain open. All those interested in assisting this parish should not hesitate! With your help, it may be able to stay open in some capacity, to allow the public to worship in this sacred space. There is not much time left for much work to be done.
Help St. Ann's 20-Sep-2007 04:03
St Ann's was given the ability to stay open until July of 2008, in order to celebrate its 150th anniversary. At that time it is scheduled to be merged with St Columba Brigid, and no longer remain open. All those interested in assisting this parish should not hesitate! With your help, it may be able to stay open in some capacity, to allow the public to worship in this sacred space. There is not much time left for much work to be done.
Adam 27-Aug-2007 05:35
St. Ann's Church has a website that was created a while back. It is There is information about the church there, as well as a phone number to contact. The events portion is updated periodically. Anyone who would like to see this church or get involved should do so now! The parish was only given one year to stay open until their 150th anniversary celebration.
Harold&Diane (Colin) Fischer 17-Aug-2007 22:17
We were married in St Ann's church on January 6, 1968. My wife's family (Horvatis/Colin) were long-time parishioners of St. Ann's; they all went to the parish school, as did my wife. We are very interested in attending the 150th anniversary mass and/or the closing ceremony. Can any one please refer us to an appropriate information site, because we presently live in Virginia. Thank you
Kathy Patterson 11-Jun-2007 23:03
My fathers family all worshiped at St Ann's and my father would take me there when I was little, back in the early 60's. Two years ago, we had a memorial service for him there, and I couldn't get over how gorgeous this church is. My fathers sister said the old aunts, Martha and Cordella, would take them for mass often during the week in the evening. I have a cousin who has begun to go to church there now, but I now go to a Baptist Church in Marilla.
A friend of St. Ann's 12-May-2007 02:24
Saint Ann's is celebrating its 150th Anniversary... the Tridentine Mass was celebrated there long before 1962. The Church is still conducive to worship and prayer. And there'll be quite the suprise as part of the celebrations.

Saint Ann, pray for us and pray for your church-shrine in Buffalo!
David Snyder 14-Jan-2007 15:00
To Stanley: I don't know AnnMary, but I think she means the altar table that faces the worshippers and displaced the old Tridentine Mass, thus rendering this type of church obsolete.
Stanley 25-Dec-2006 07:36
Hi AnnMary, what is the "table" that you mention? Is it a code for something?
AnnMary 29-May-2006 10:25
Oh, how just one little 'table' with all it wrought, could bring down this once awesome place, where The Holy Sacrifice of [1962] Mass was once holy and reverent. The faith thrived and that was the time the the church was home to many, many dedicated parishioners. Lessons not yet learned by those who destroyed it! Sancte Anna, ora pro nobis!
Adam 14-Mar-2006 14:02
I saw in a Catholic Directory from 2000 that there are only 180 registered parish families at the church. I am wondering if this is one of the churches that would be closed, since the Bishop has indicated an urban parish should have at least 500 families registered. It is a beautiful church, I hope it can survive.
David Snyder 21-Jan-2006 20:37
St. Ann's Church is still open as of January 2006 and just hosted a large Mass for Martin Luther King Day.
Carol Kalobius 21-Nov-2004 05:04
I hear that the church will soon be boarded up. Actually I heard that today.