St Anne’s seeks to embrace in the love of Jesus the diverse generations of Catholics in this area and all others who see St Anne’s as their spiritual home.
In the name of Jesus Christ we gather as a community of faith in prayer, worship, service and friendship.
All are welcome to join with us as we seek to support and grow a community of faith grounded on Jesus, God’s Word made flesh, who is ‘the way, the truth and the life.’
We warmly invite you to worship God with us.
Whether you visit our church regularly, infrequently or not at all, you are welcome to our website which we hope, will provide you with useful information about our parish.
Should you wish to offer your talents in any of our parish ministries, please do contact our Parish Office.
Our Bishop & Diocese
A Diocese is an administrative unit within the Church made up of a number of parishes under the guidance of the Bishop.
St Anne’s Parish is part of the Diocese of Elphin, named after a small town in east Roscommon where St Patrick founded a monastery.
The present Bishop of Elphin is Most Rev Kevin Doran Ph.D., D.D.
More information on the Diocesan website www.elphindiocese.ie
St. Anne’s Church
We are located on the east side of Sligo town on the south bank of the Garavogue River and our Church dedicated to St Anne is a beacon of tranquillity in one of Sligo’s busiest shopping areas.
According to very old tradition St Anne and her husband St Joachim were the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and indeed, the only grandparents of Jesus. A beautiful statue of St Anne and her daughter, hand carved in cherry and linden wood by Austrian sculptors from the Tyrol, is one of the delights of our church, situated in an alcove near the sanctuary, while the tableau covering three walls of the Holy Family shrine the at the back of the church is regarded as the most beautiful anywhere.
St Anne’s Church was begun in the late 1950’s and it was blessed and opened by Bishop Vincent Hanly on 3 August 1958. It is of architectural interest because it was designed as an eleven-bay single-story building with a detached bell-tower. It was the first church in Ireland to use mass concrete in its construction and to put a roof over such an enormous space without the use of pillars, achieved by hiding structural steel supports behind a molded ceiling.
Please see pictures in our Gallery.
The Holy Well at Tobernalt goes back before the dawn of Irish Christianity to the arrival of the Celts sometime around 400 – 300 BC. Originally it was a place of the worship of the Celtic sun-god, Lugh on the first of August, Lughnasa, (Old Irish ‘Lugh–násad’ means Lugh’s celebratory games) a three-day festival to obtain a good harvest.
The well is dedicated to St Patrick and tradition says he visited it in his travels and blessed it. He is believed to have left the mark of his fingerprints on the lower altar near the spring.
More than likely, he used Tobernalt to gather his converts for Baptism, and the celebration of the other sacraments because it was a traditional gathering place.
People went there in times of famine and pestilence for deliverance.
During Penal times, the altar at the well was used for Mass and the sacraments, when priests on the run would go there mingling with the crowds. The top of the rock was an excellent lookout over the plains around Ballisodare and out to Knocknarea, while on the north eastern side it commanded a clear view over Lough Gill, reducing the risk of the priest being captured by surprise.
Over the main altar there is a Penal Cross which has close connection with the Dominican Friars, who remained among the people of Sligo throughout the dark days of persecution.
Garland Sunday is the biggest day in the calendar of the Holy Well, and like the all year round pilgrimage on Tuesdays, it has continued from time immemorial to the present day. You will always find people there praying or doing the rounds of the Stations of the Cross and the Mysteries of the Rosary or simply quietly reflecting on the beauty of the place and it remains an extraordinary source of blessings for our parish.
Information available on www.holywellsligo.com
Adjacent to the entrances on the Dunne’s Stores side is a relic of the old St John’s: the Mission Cross, erected in 1854 at Chapel Hill when Rev T. Phillips was parish priest, to commemorate the first Jesuit mission preached to an overflowing congregation. After the church was closed, the cross was for a time in the grounds of St Patrick’s Convent of Mercy. Then when the convent was reappointed as Globe House for the newly arriving immigrants from trouble-spots in Africa and the Middle East, the Mission Cross was solemnly installed here and blessed by Bishop Christy Jones in the presence of Fr Kevin Laheen SJ, one of the last members of the Jesuit Mission Team who spent many of his years giving missions all over Ireland as well as overseas and still happily with his community well into his nineties.
St Anne’s Day Chapel
For many years, several ideas were mooted for the better utilisation of St Anne’s parish church, and one that was contemplated suggested that a partition be erected which would divide the church in half, but on mature reflection and on aesthetic grounds, it was felt that it would destroy the unity and harmony of such a lovely listed building, part of the architectural heritage of Sligo, and after much consultation with William Byrne architectural firm in Dublin who had originally designed it and the local firm of Lewis Rhatigan, Fr Dominick and the Pastoral Council decided on building an oratory, which soon got the name that stuck – the Day Chapel, to accommodate 100 people comfortably for the two daily weekday Masses and for a variety of other liturgical and non-liturgical functions. In view of the latter, the design incorporated a fully functional kitchen, and many events here end with a friendly cup of tea or coffee.
St. John’s Church, Carraroe.
St. John’s, our sister church in the Parish dates from 1893. The local school of St. Enda’s and the ancient pilgrimage site of Tobar nAlt is situated close by. The church is administered by Fr. Jim Murray. For further details, see here.