Saint Anne’s Parish was formed on 19 September 1869 to minister to the needs of French Canadians who were members of Saint Mary’s Parish (the whole city of Fall River). On 14 July 1902 was laid the cornerstone of the current church, which stands at the northwest corner of South Main and Middle Streets. Construction went on for four years, under the direction of architect Napoleon Bourassa. The church officially opened its doors to the faithful on 4 July 1906, the day on which it was blessed and dedicated to divine worship. Two years earlier, Fall River became its own diocese. Rumor had it that Saint Anne would become the diocesan cathedral—an improbable event, since the parish was, until 1978, under the care of the Order of Friars Preachers, more commonly known as the Dominican Order or the Dominicans. (William Stang was consecrated Fall River’s first bishop, and nearby Saint Mary’s Church became the cathedral.)
For a detailed history of the parish, click ‘History’ in the ‘About’ drop-down menu.