Churches Worth Driving To


Name of Church: St. Anne
Location: Kennebec Hill in Columbia, CA.
Phone number: To arrange a docent tour, call Judy Wilder, (209) 532-9422 or Marcia Watts, (209) 533-3662. Tours on weekdays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. School groups are especially welcome. The church is normally locked, so call and make an appointment to see it.
Mass times: St. Anne’s is a parish mission of St. Patrick Church in Sonora. One of St. Patrick’s priests celebrates Mass at St. Anne’s four times per year: Christmas, Easter, the 4th of July and the Feast of St. Anne (July 26). There’s also an occasional wedding or funeral. It is a church of the Diocese of Stockton, and is cared for by Save Our St. Anne’s, a group of volunteers.
Special events: There is a picnic after Mass on the Feast of St. Anne. 
Additional observations: St. Anne’s is a historic church, built by gold miners in 1856. It originally had a school. It is located just outside of Columbia State Historic Park, east of Stockton and a few miles north of Sonora. It was the first church in California made of brick, and was constructed in California’s Gold Rush era. Interior features include a traditional altar and altar rail, original pews, a confessional and baptismal font. Behind the altar are celestial angels painted by James Fallon, who was from a prominent 19th century family in the area. It has arched windows on all four sides with a three-story tall belfry. Its bell was cast in New York, brought around Cape Horn and delivered by wagon. In front is the church cemetery. St. Anne’s has been closed and stripped twice, but dedicated preservationists in the era have re-opened it. It underwent major restorations in 1926 and 1979-82.
Website: Click here.



Posted Friday, January 06, 2012 5:46 AM By St. Christopher
Except that the local Ordinary opposes Latin masses, why not establish regularly scheduled TLM here?

Posted Friday, January 06, 2012 1:40 PM By Maryanne Leonard
Almost for sure the problem will be concerning human safety in this building, built long before unreinforced masonry buildings were prohibited. Before then, such buildings were constructed in the intuitive manner, one row of brick laid upon another. A handsome result is possible, but this simple manner of construction is not too safe in earthquake country.

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 1:55 AM By Traditional Angelo
There is such a thing as retro-fitting. We have Summorum Pontificum. This beautiful Church has potential. But of course the change-everthing-for the mere sake of change will win, as always. If only the Diocese will allow the people to take it down brick by brick then reconstuct it elsewhere and bring in a priest from the FSSP. But of course thats only a dream, the change mongers are still much in power. There are those who wish to demolish Churches because of there ancient beauty. I’m one who would like to see modernistic churches torn down because they are an eyesore.

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 5:30 PM By Maryanne Leonard
I would agree, Traditional Angelo, if it were practical to retrofit buildings like this, which is usually is not. The funds may not be there in the first place. I would also agree that it would be emotionally satisfying to tear down all the modernistic churches that in no way please the eye, but again it is not practical, due to the cost of tearing down large structures, the loss of their use during rebuilding, and the cost of building a new structure. Also, it is expensive and challenging to build structures today that can compare with the beauty of some of the architectural masterpieces of our Catholic heritage or even our charming smaller churches of yesteryear. The important thing is to try to keep them alive, a bit hard to do when time, changing demographics in many of our historic neighborhoods, lagging attendance, and even closing some parishes due to huge priest abuse payouts, etc. Maybe someday our country and our parishes will be prosperous again, and we can remodel or reclaim some of the architectural treasures of our Catholic heritage, if God wills.

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 11:12 PM By Traditional Angelo
Maryanne Leonard, It was suggested at one time to demolish the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in the Fresno Diocese. Bishop Steinbock decided to save it. It was retro-fitted and now it is earthquake proof. This Cathedral was built around 1879. As for the tearing down of the ugly glass and concrete montrosities, it would cost less to preserve our beautiful Churches. I understand what you are saying. I, not too long ago read about and seen photographs of an old beautiful glorious church. Which was torn down in order to sell the prime property. There were photos of its demolition. The before photos were of a glorious Church. It caused alot of pain to its parishioners. But frankly the Bishop and his advisors did not care. They claimed to only be pastoral, looking out for the good of the Church. God complained to St. Catherine of Sienna saying, “My house they humble, but their own dwelling places they lavishly furnish.” Many more beautiful Churches are slated for demolition. What a disgrace!