In the days leading up to the feast day of St. Ann on July 26, St. Ann Catholic Church in Washington will celebrate a week of reflection with daily Mass, novena prayers and a special tilma replica of Our Lady of Guadalupe on display in the church.

Mass will be celebrated each day with the novena to St. Ann prayers recited afterward and a blessing bestowed on all in attendance with a relic of St. Ann. Unlike previous years when people would be allowed to venerate the relic individually, the relic will be used to bless the entire congregation. 

A relic of St. Ann, pictured left, will be used to bless visitors after Mass each day. (courtesy photo/Natalie J. Plumb) 

The week of reflection coincides with the visit of the Archdiocese of Washington’s traveling replica of the Our Lady of Guadalupe tilma on display at St. Ann.

The tilma was hand-embroidered by the Convent of the Perpetual Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament in the city of Morelia in Michoacán, Mexico, and depicts the image of Our Lady as she appeared to St. Juan Diego in 1531.

Natalie Plumb, director of communications and youth ministry at St. Ann’s, said the parish hopes visitors will still be able to celebrate the feast of St. Ann in the safest way possible there. 

“It is St. Ann’s feast and it is her church, named after her, so we’re excited to get people in the door even though it’s under different circumstances perhaps this year,” she said. 

St. Ann will be open for more extended hours throughout the week allowing for visitors to have more time praying in the church with the tilma and to encourage a safe distance between pilgrims. The church will be open on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; on Saturday, July 25, from 4 to 6 p.m.; and on Sunday, July 26, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. 

Mass is celebrated each weekday at noon, and on Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 7 p.m. A livestream will be available for the 11 a.m. Mass on St. Ann's feast day on July 26.

St. Ann has been celebrating the parish’s 150th jubilee throughout the past year. The parish was established in 1869 at Tenley Circle as the first Catholic parish north of Georgetown. Since then, the parish has grown to include a community of 800 families. Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory celebrated a Mass for St. Ann Parish’s 150th anniversary on Oct. 20, 2019.

“We look forward to having people still come and celebrate in St. Ann’s Church for our 150th despite the circumstances,” Plumb said.