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St. Anne (Columbus)

Deanery: Columbus
Mass Times: Saturday Vigil: 5:30 PM | Sunday: 8:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM
Year Established: 1961

Phone: 706-561-8678
Fax: 706-565-4845

2000 Kay Circle
Columbus, GA
County: Muscogee

On Friday morning, September 1, 1961, a Mass was celebrated in the cafeteria of Holy Family School on Trinity Drive. It marked the official beginning of a new parish in Columbus, Georgia. It was named St. Anne in honor of the mother of the Virgin Mary. The celebrant was Reverend Monsignor Herman J. Deimel, Pastor of Holy Family Church. A formal announcement of the establishment was issued the same day by His Excellency, Bishop Thomas J. McDonough of the Diocese of Savannah. He appointed Monsignor Deimel as Pastor and Reverend Lawrence Lucree as Assistant Pastor.

Humble Beginnings
The real beginning took place in the late 1940s and early 1950s when land was purchased for the construction of a new school to replace Holy Family School in downtown Columbus. The new Holy Family School was built in its present location in 1952 and all the classes began in September of that year. The Sisters of Mercy continued to live in downtown Columbus and commuted back and forth to the school until a new convent was built by the sisters in 1962. Mass was celebrated on a regular basis in the cafeteria beginning in 1952. Initially, St. Anne Parish encompassed north Columbus, as well as Harris County, serving 400 families. St. Anne was the fourth Catholic Church in the area in addition to Holy Family, St. Benedict the Moor, and Our Lady of Lourdes.

Monsignor Deimel was a driving force of the Catholic community in this area. He served as Pastor of Holy Family from 1943-61 and St. Anne from 1961-66. During his 23 years in Columbus, he was instrumental in the establishment of St. Francis Hospital, which opened in 1950, the new Holy Family School started in 1952, and Pacelli High School, which was built in 1958. Pacelli was originally called Holy Family High School, but was renamed Pacelli in 1958 in memory of the late Pope Pius XII, who died that year.

In 1966, Monsignor Deimel was appointed Pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Augusta, where he remained until his retirement in 1968. He died on November 9, 1985, at his home in Fitzgerald, Georgia. His body was brought back to St. Anne, Columbus, for the funeral Mass after which it was transferred to Savannah, Georgia, for burial in the priest’s lot in the Catholic Cemetery.

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