Lac Ste. Anne Parish is a Roman Catholic church located at the pilgrimage site, and operating all year round.
Lac Ste Anne was the first permanent Catholic mission in Alberta. It was founded by a diocesan priest Fr. Jean-Baptiste Thibault in 1842.
The original church was built at Lac Ste Anne in 1844; Father Albert Lacombe and Father Rene Remas began the service by Oblate Missionaries in 1852. They have continuously served the area since then. Father Lacombe also set up a mission in St. Albert, and along with the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, a school to facilitate the growing Catholic population. The Oblates have continued to serve the religious needs of the citizens in Lac Ste Anne and St. Albert ever since.
The church deteriorated over the years, and Father Joseph Jean-Marie Lestanc persuaded Bishop Grandin to approve a new church building, which was blessed in 1889. In this same year, the first Pilgrimage took place in Lac. Ste Anne.
On December 2, 1928, the church was completely destroyed by fire with all the contents, including the Altar, statues, bells and even the crutches and canes left by pilgrims following miraculous cure.
In May of 1930, Father Pierre -Marie LeBre, bought an unused dance hall and moved it to Lac Ste Anne to replace the church destroyed by fire in 1928. Several farmers laid fence posts and rolled the hall about a mile and pulling it with their tractors. The building was converted into a church and from 1930-2009, it served the parish community.
In 2009, after years of fundraising, very generous donations, and funds from the sale of old Catholic Church in the Village of Alberta Beach, the parish had enough money to start building a new church. Construction began in September, and the first Mass in the new building was celebrated February 28, 2010 by our late Pastor, Fr. Alex Carrier OMI, with his assisting priest, Fr. Maurice Joly OMI.
The new church was officially blessed by Archbishop Richard Smith August 7, 2010. One week before the Official Blessing the parish was blessed to receive a large and completely anonymous donation which allowed them to fully pay off their mortgage and move forward debt-free.