Barrington’s long history as a Catholic faith community began in the 1860’s with missionary priests celebrating Mass in private homes. The original Saint Anne Church was dedicated in 1884 with a pastor in residence by 1905. In 1927, Saint Anne Parish School was built and staffed by the Sisters of Mercy, making it one of the first parochial schools in Lake County. The School Sisters of Saint Francis were given charge of the school three years later, and to this day Sisters from the order of Saint Francis still minister in the parish. Over the next thirty years, the Saint Anne community grew significantly with the guidance of the pastor, Father Alexander Thane, who oversaw multiple building projects that expanded both the church and school.
After Father Thane’s retirement in 1971, Father Arthur Dillon became pastor. Under his direction, the parish center, named the Dillon Center after his retirement, and the rectory were built and dedicated in 1980. Shortly after this time, the sanctuary of the church was renovated. Father Dillon was responsible for establishing many programs that met the needs of an ever-growing, Post Vatican II church. Throughout this time in Saint Anne’s history, many priests were responsible for helping make Saint Anne what it has become today.
Father John Dewes, affectionately known as “Father Jack,” was appointed pastor on August 31, 1989. In the years following, Father Jack continued to encourage the growth of the Post Vatican spirit of community and concern. Under his leadership, the parish community underwent a Campus Development Plan that was the largest in the Archdiocese’s history. This plan included a beautiful new church with antiphonal seating; the renovation of the former church into a daily mass chapel where the Eucharist is reserved; and the creation of a gathering space adorned with a striking fireplace where parishioners share in hospitality after all weekend masses. The Campus Development Plan also included the renovation and expansion of the Parish School.
Upon Father Jack’s retirement in 2009, Father Bernie Pietrzak, formerly pastor of Saint Raymond’s in Mount Prospect, was appointed the new pastor. Upon his arrival, Father Bernie established a new Parish Council of Ministries and reorganized the parish operational structure into four parish commissions. The Pastor, Core Staff, Parish Council of Ministries, and the parish commissions collaborate to assure that the strategic goals set for our parish are aligned with our parish mission. This vision of parish life fosters involvement in the faith community by encouraging servant leadership and servant discipleship by which the many ministries are brought to life. Currently, the parish has over 3500 registered families. Saint Anne’s strong parishioner commitment to life-long faith formation, vibrant worship, and welcoming spirit are catalysts that enable the members of our faith community to recognize that each of us possess some gift or talent that can make a difference in the quality of our shared life as God’s people.