It’s been a while since I wrote about one of my favorite subjects, Churches. My tendency is to wait until I have all of the right images, information, etc, to make these as complete of a post as possible. But, I find my heart being drawn to one particular church, lately. A desire to share a special place that has many, many ties to my extended family……. St. Ann Catholic Church (West Palm Beach, FL).
St. Ann is the oldest Catholic church and parish in the Diocese of Palm Beach. According to the historic marker, the original chapel (above left) was dedicated March 15, 1896 and located at the corner of Rosemary and Datura streets. In 1902, it was moved to its current location (North Olive Ave.) on land that was donated by Henry Flagler. The newer church (above right) was dedicated in 1913 and also serves the community as a Catholic School…….where my mother-in-law and her siblings went.
The first time I visited St. Ann it was for a family reunion. It’s a small sanctuary with a detailed, but unassuming alter. The lighting is soft to allow the natural light to shine through the beautifully crafted stained glass windows.
The alter (above) is a skillfully carved depiction of Davinci’s “The Last Supper.” It’s so detailed you can almost feel the movement of Jesus and the disciples feasting and talking about the impending crucifixion.
And then, there is the “candle room” a place of solitude and peace. A place to light a candle for a loved one or a special prayer request.
Although I grew up Baptist, I am always drawn to Catholic Churches because of their beauty, tradition and history. And, I’m especially drawn to St. Ann because it is the foundation and the beginning of a wonderful group of decendents of Anna L. and Hyman Butler. While they may not be famous beyond the family members, “Miss Anna” and “Hyman” left behind a legacy of family, love and tradition that will last for years to come: the Butlers, Nemeths, Meeks and Robinsons.
A special thanks goes out to fellow photographer, sister-in-law and friend Janice (Robinson) Janik, who was kind enough to provide the inside photos of the church for me.