Our History

St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church on Greenmount Avenue and 22nd Street was erected through the generosity of Captain William Kennedy, commander of one of the most famous Baltimore clipper ships, “The Wanderer”. Caught in a raging storm off the coast of Vera Cruz in 1833, Captain Kennedy vowed that if the anchor of his ship held secure, and if he and his crew returned safely to port, he would build a church as testament of his gratitude to God. The anchor held.

Upon returning to Baltimore, Captain Kennedy gave up his life at sea and sold his brig. He did, however, keep his anchor and chain. Ture to his promise in 1872 Captain Kennedy and his wife, Mary Ann Jenkins, secured property and funds for the church which was to be named for Saint Ann, the patron saint of sailors. The cornerstone was laid in 1873, the same year that both Captain Kenney and Mrs. Kennedy died. Although neither of them lived to see the church completed, they are both buried under the main aisle of St. Ann Church.

The church as completed in 1874 and was later expanded to increase the seating capacity. Later a school and convent were also added. In 1925 the original anchor was restored and placed on the stone cradle beside the cornerstone where it remains today. The historic, cultural and architectural significance of this church is well-documented in the church archives, and the Church of St. Ann continues to be a neighborhood landmark.

Because of the thousands of dedicated religious and lay leaders down through the years, and the spirit of God among us, St. Ann’s continues to joyfully celebrate for more than 140 years. Presently, as a predominantly African American faith community, St. Ann’s continues to reaffirm its mission to the East Baltimore community.

As we look back over the storms and challenges that St. Ann’s has faced from its beginning until today, we praise God that our anchor still holds and grips the solid Rock-Jesus. Through the years-past, present, future-God’s love remains constant and as secure as the anchor that held Captain Kennedy’s ship so long ago.


Our Mission Statement


The parish community of St. Ann’s Church are called by God to be a family of believers united in faith and love to teach and proclaim the message of Jesus Christ, to celebrate the Word of God, to witness to the presence of God in our community, and to manifest the Kingdom of God in word and work.

We perceive our mission as both gift and challenge. We believe that God will use us as His instrument manifesting His Kingdom on this earth. We rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us in being faithful to our Mission.