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St. Anne's celebrates 60th birthday
Dedicated on October 5, 1952
St. Anne’s Catholic Church celebrated its 60th birthday Friday night with a mass and dinner. The church at 378 N. F St., Porterville, was dedicated on Oct. 5, 1952 by Bishop Aloysius J. Willinger from Fresno.
“I didn’t want to let the opportunity go by. It’s a historic milestone. I know most of all of the people who worked on the construction of St. Anne’s. They’re really special people,” said
Father Scott Daugherty who has been at the church since 1993 and has seen some changes.
“The number of people involved in the ministries has doubled. The congregation has grown from 2,000-4,000 families,” added Daugherty, who pointed out that the parish now has missions in Springville, and on the Tule River Reservation and a station in Terra Bella. They continue to minister to the sick and to those incarcerated along with their food bank.
“We do what we can with the resources we have,” said Daugherty.
Parish member Gary Giraudi was only 10 when the church was constructed and remembers seeing the church being built.
“I remember it was a vacant lot right across from the Catholic school and in the same building was the church,” said Giraudi, who explained that once the walls and concrete floors were put in he and his buddies just had to try out the new place.
“Some of the boy’s used to sneak in there and play when the construction workers went home,” stated Giraudi.
One of his fondest memories is being involved in the dedication mass as an altar boy.
“I was impressed that I was chosen as the altar boy. I got to wear a red cassock and a white surplus. The usual garments were black and white,” added Guaridi who would like to see St. Anne’s expand with a new school out by Holy Cross and a Catholic high school in Porterville.
St. Anne’s construction cost was $90,950 and included pews, and other items. Joseph M. Gannon of Bakersfield originally bid $67,000.
The parish itself began in the late 1860s with Father Daniel Francis X. Dade who was a traveling priest.
The first Saint Anne’s Church was originally constructed as a mission of Saint Mary’s in Visalia in 1892.
It became its own parish in 1896.
The second St. Anne’s church was relocated to F street in 1925 by Father Patrick Daly.