St. Anne Parish in East Moline opens centennial year celebration April 15

St. Anne parishioners have adopted "Remember, Rejoice, Renew" as the motto for their 100 years as a community of faith.

EAST MOLINE — Because it’s difficult to contain the joy of a centennial celebration to one day, members of St. Anne Parish will spend a year marking the milestone, starting with a Mass, reception and dinner on Sunday, April 15.

Priests and Sisters who have served the parish have been invited back for the 3 p.m. Mass and will be treated to the catered dinner that follows in Cleary Hall, 1705 Sixth St.

Vocations from St. Anne, former parishioners, and friends of the parish are also being sought to help kick off the “year of celebrations.” The cost for the April 15 dinner is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and younger. Reservations are required by April 5 and may be made by calling the parish office at (309) 755-5071.

No reservation is needed to attend the Mass.

The next celebration, the St. Anne Centennial Fiesta, is scheduled for Saturday, May 12. It will be held from 4 to 9:30 p.m. at Cleary Hall and feature Mexican food, entertainment and raffles. Admission is free.

Other centennial events include a spaghetti dinner in the fall, a trivia night next January, and “100 days” of spirituality from April through July 2019.

The year of preparation will culminate with a Centennial Mass on July 28, 2019.

More information on the “year of celebrations” can be found on the parish website.


St. Anne parishioners have adopted “Remember, Rejoice, Renew” as the motto for their 100 years as a community of faith. In addition to remembering and rejoicing with spiritual and social gatherings over the next year, they are hoping to renew the interior of the church.

The sanctuary has been remodeled four times, with the last renovation taking place in the mid-1980s. A plan that includes sanctuary changes, painting, carpeting, dome lighting and a vestibule update has been proposed.

St. Anne was established in 1919 to serve a diverse population in East Moline, with Father William Cleary assigned by Bishop Edmund M. Dunne to be the founding pastor. He would lead the community for 50 years.

The first Mass was celebrated in the Lyric Theater on Seventh Street on the third Sunday of May 1919. Ground was broken for a combination church and school that year and was dedicated by Bishop Dunne in November 1920.

Five Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary came in 1925 to staff the school, which continued to grow. A new church became necessary and construction for the current church and rectory began in March 1951. Mass was celebrated in the new building on Easter Sunday in 1952.

More than 100 Sisters of Charity BVM have served the school and parish, as well as three Sisters of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary. Currently one Benedictine from St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island, Sister Stefanie MacDonald, teaches at the school, now known as Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy.

There have been 14 pastors and 12 parochial vicars over the years. Father Antonio Dittmer has been pastor of St. Anne and its sister parish, St. Mary in Moline, since 2017. Assisting him is Deacon James Briggs.


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