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Church of St. Anne

Church of St. Anne
Photo by Candice Pauley, courtesy of Cane River National Heritage Area

The Church of St. Anne is a rare example of the Gothic Revival style in the Cane River region. The church has a cruciform floor plan, steeply pitched gabled roof, lancet windows and pointed arches over the main doors. The most strikingly Gothic aspect, however, is a two-stage belfry with a steeply pitched peak topped by crosses.

The Church of St. Anne represents the last step in a long spiritual journey for Catholics among the Adaesaños, people of Spanish descent in the region, and the Caddo Adai people, one of the southernmost branches of the Caddo American Indians. The Caddo Adai were first exposed to Christian missionaries in 1716, when San Miguel de los Adaes church was founded near the present day community of Robeline. In 1721, this missionary settlement was expanded into the Presidio Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Los Adaes, which became the first capital of Texas in 1729. It served an important role as a military strongpoint on the border with French Louisiana until Spain assumed control of Louisiana after the French and Indian War, dissolving the once crucial border. In 1773, Los Adaes was officially closed and its Spanish residents were ordered to relocate to San Antonio, although many remained around the deserted presidio. The relocation did not deter the faith of the Spanish who remained nor the Caddo Adai. Instead of abandoning the church, they relocated it to the Shamrock area and worshipped there until 1886, when the church was moved six miles to the north and renamed St. Joseph. This church eventually burned down and was replaced in 1916 by the Church of St. Anne.

[photo] The Church of St. Anne has a pitched gabled roof.
Photo by Candice Pauley, courtesy of Cane River National Heritage Area

The Church of St. Anne remains the most important Catholic Church for the Caddo Adai and the community of Spanish Lake. It represents not only their faith but also their resilience. The church is also important to the Adaesaños, descendants of Spaniards who lived at Los Adaes and either refused to abandon the location or returned from Texas years later. Today, Adaesaños and Caddo Adais worship side by side at the Church of St. Anne, much like they did more than 200 years ago at Los Adaes.

The Church of St. Anne is located at 1195 Lake Loop Rd. in Robeline. Mass is held at 5:30pm on Saturdays and at 9:30am on Sundays. Call 318-472-8012 for further information.

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