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St. Ann Church

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What’s distinctive about your parish? What is your parish’s charism? Our parish is lovingly cared for by Missionhurst priests. Because none of them were raised in the U.S., they bring a global perspective of Catholicism. The cultural diversity of the parish has grown steadily, with people from many different backgrounds feeling welcome here. St. Ann Parish has strong social outreach ministries. Through many volunteers, we support Catholic Charities’ Migration and Refugee Services and St. Lucy Food Project and a number of local organizations that serve the poor and the marginalized.

What’s the one unique thing visitors to your parish should do or see while there? Visitors should stop to see the statue of St. Ann outside the church. There is also a beautiful icon of St. Ann and St. Joachim, a pelican stained-glass window and the suspended crucifix above the altar.

What is a new ministry that you’ve started? Or, alternatively, share some recent activities of longstanding ministries. The parish has a long relationship with Virginia Hospital Center and Capital Caring Hospice (recently closed) where a group of parish volunteers visit the sick and bring communion to Catholics. When the pandemic came, our priests continued to provide the sacraments to the sick and the dying, as well as pastoral and spiritual support to families and hospital staff.

How are you supporting the faith journey of particular cultures represented in your parish? Two years ago, we designated Pentecost Sunday to highlight the gift of diversity to the church. Parishioners were encouraged to wear cultural attire. The prayers of the faithful were said in different languages (English, Bahasa, Polish, Portuguese, Sinhalese, French, Spanish, German, Ukrainian and Tagalog). The parish also celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Urkupiňa, a Bolivian celebration. The annual parish picnic brings the parish together to enjoy ethnic food, music and Bolivian dances.

What would a visitor say about your parish, and how do new parishioners get involved? The spirit of welcome is always noticed by visitors and those who are joining the parish. When a parish registration is received, either the pastor or the parochial vicar calls the newcomer to introduce himself. This also is a great time to personally share information to the new family about parish ministries. There is a ministry fair when parishioners are asked to get involved in parish ministries. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved.

What’s something we should know about your clergy? St. Ann is served by the Missionhurst priests, whose unique charism is “mission.” They are bilingual and sensitive to the spiritual and pastoral needs of the people. They are humble and welcoming. Father Leo is the parochial vicar with a beautiful voice and enhances a prayerful experience of the Mass with his guitar prowess and singing. Every Missionhurst priest who has been here has been openhearted, deeply humble in faith and filled with a peace the world cannot give. 

Quick Facts

St. Ann

5300 10th St. N. Arlington



Pastor: Fr. Mel O. Portula, CICM

Parochial vicar: Fr. Leoyd O. Sanggaria, CICM

Director of Faith Formation: Amy Strickland

Youth Minister: Diane Phelps

Mass Schedule:

Monday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.

Saturday vigil: 5:30 p.m.

Sunday: 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (Spanish)


St. Ann Catholic School

980 N. Frederick St.




Preschool, K-8

Anthony Sahadi

Social media: 

St. Ann Facebook @ stannchurch.org

St Ann School Facebook @friendsofstann

Twitter @school_ann

Year established: 1947

Total parishioners: 3,712 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021