Parish History

Saint Anne Parish – Since 1919

1920s and 1930s

In 1919, Bishop William T. Russell of the Diocese of Charleston moved Fr. William J. Tobin from St. Peter’s to Rock Hill, where he became the first pastor of St. Anne Parish.
There were only about 20 Catholics in the city’s total population of 7,500. Fr. Tobin went to work quickly, and in November 1920 a small church opened on Saluda Street, near the center of town.

In 1934, a new era in the life of St. Anne Parish opened with the establishment of a community of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. The Oratorians established their home on Charlotte Avenue and reached out to serve Catholics in York County beyond Rock Hill and in neighboring Chester and Lancaster counties.

1940s and 1950s

During the following years, the parish experienced a modest growth to 220 members by 1942.
The twenty-one-year-long pastorate of Fr. William Pentis, C.O., from 1983 to 2004, was a time of considerable growth for St. Anne parish. Preparations began to be made for the construction of a new church, an effort that would require several years to accomplish. The formal dedication of the new church took place on October 4, 1992. The altar and ambo in both the church and daily chapel and other liturgical furnishings were the gift of the Vietnamese community. The parish population now numbered 2,032. The following year it reached 2,538.

Construction of the school and parish life center began in 1997. Bishop David B. Thompson dedicated the new building on August 21, 1998, and St. Anne School began the 1998-1999 school year in its new location. By 1999, parish membership totaled 3,597.

Year 2000 to present

In 2001 Fr. Adilso Coelho, C.O. began to serve as assistant to Fr. William Pentis, C.O. When Fr. William retired from the pastorate in 2004, Fr. Adilso succeeded him. In July 2010, Fr. Elbano Munoz, C.O. was named Pastor of St. Anne, Fr. Fabio Refosco, C.O. was named Parochial Vicar and Br. Josemaria Schlubach, C.O. Pastoral Associate. The parish now has over 5,000 members, including the Vietnamese community that had come into being three decades earlier and a newer and rapidly growing Hispanic community. A regular and well-attended Sunday Spanish-language Mass had begun to be celebrated in July 2002.

The story of St. Anne parish is also the story if its people, priests, religious, and the laity-and their faith, their service and their sacrifice. As the people of St. Anne parish reflect on their parish history and contemplate the future and its challenges, they do so in the certainty that their faith, service and sacrifice have been, are and will continue to be centered on the effort to fulfill our inherited vocation: ‘Do this in memory of me.’

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