From other social media sites, occasionally items of interest that feature St. Anne’s are noted in passing. A couple that made it across today are fascinating when you consider the arc of time that our beloved shrine has been a landmark in the city, as well as the changes as the years went by.
Records are sadly incomplete (much was sent back to Montreal by the Dominicans while they turned over the parish and church to the Diocese), but it’s thought that this photo was taken for the consecration of the bell for the Church. In Catholic practice, bells play an important part both in liturgies and as part of the building itself. Bells for structures are formally consecrated and named when meant for mounting in belfries to prevent their investiture by the devil. This photo, for which there is little documentation, may well be a record of the formal consecration of the bell which still exists in one of the towers of St. Anne’s.
The picture shows the original altar, which was the one installed before the white “wedding cake” altar (which was removed in the late 1950s before the wholesale changes implied by the Vatican II documents). This is obviously post-1910, since the beautiful statue of St. Anne, first displayed at the Chicago World’s Fair the previous year, is located at the peak above the tabernacle. Note the old camera to the bottom. If you look in these old photos…they do bring to life past times.
This photo, taken around the same time as the previous one, is the “Living Flag” display on the front steps during the Cotton Centennial. It appears, from magnifying the photo, that the students of the school were arranged to present a display of the US Flag on the steps. Note the band members to the right and the building to the left; it’s obvious that St. Anne’s was surrounded by both commercial establishments as well as residences before the land currently bounded by the 4 streets was bought by the parish over the course of the years.
Next time you walk past our beloved church and shrine…remember all who have walked in those same steps and seen the same thing as a photo, 109 years old, displayed to the world. The Good Shepherd is still between the doors, and our Patroness still looks down from the top, with the inscription “Ora Pro Nobis” above her.