Father Riedinger used the profits of the Marathon Days and paid off the huge debt. Then, in 1941, he purchased the dwelling south of the old school for the use of more class rooms.  Remodeling began at once.

On June 24, 1942 Father John Riedinger was transferred by Bishop Ritter to Little Flower St. Therese of the Infant Jesus Parish to be pastor.

Fr PfauOn June 29, 1942 Father Ralph S. Pfau (left)  was appointed pastor of St. Ann's of Indianapolis by Bishop Ritter.  Father Pfau remained in service at St. Ann's until June 14, 1943.

In September of 1942 a third classroom for the old school was opened on the ground floor in a dwelling south of the old school.  Soon this addition became inadequate and a new wing was added to the east side to form a fourth classroom to accommodate the seventh and eighth grades.

All these years (1926-1943) the Sisters lived at St. Anthony's and St. John's Convents as convenience dictated making the trip morning and evening by car.

Now that St. Ann's had four Sisters teaching, thoughts turned to providing a Convent here at St. Ann's.

Father Pfau ordered the remodeling of the second floor of the house for a Convent and more classrooms for the first floor.

This dwelling was built before Mars Hills was laid out in lots and was Sterling R. Holt's house which was sold to the Pfeffer family before St. Ann's acquired the home.

On June 14, 1943 Father Ralph S. Pfau was relieved of his pastoral duties at St. Ann's due to ill health.

Fr SaumOn June 25, 1943 Father George B. Saum (left) was appointed pastor of St. Ann's of Indianapolis by Bishop Ritter.  Father Saum remained in service at St. Ann's until February 11, 1945.

The remodeling of the second floor of the present Convent was finished in September of 1943.

The difficulty of obtaining a kitchen stove (due to shortages during World War II) delayed the move of the four sisters from St. John's Convent until September 16, 1943.

Then the Convent consisted of five rooms: kitchen, two bedrooms, a Community room, and a reception room.

On September 26, the people of St. Ann's gave the Sisters a shower for their new living quarters.  Many household supplies were donated along with large quantities of home canned fruits,, vegetables and jellies.

The most Reverend Bishop Joseph E. Ritter administered Confirmation to forty-one persons on Thursday evening May 9, 1944.

School enrollment that year was 133 students.

On February 11, 1945 Father George B. Saum was appointed pastor of St. Michael Church in Brookville, Indiana. (He retired 1975 and in 1976 he was appointed administrator of St. Mary's in Rushville, Indiana.  Father Saum at St. Mary's as administrator pro. tem.)

Father Victor L. Goosens (right) was appointed pastor of St. Ann's of Indianapolis by Archbishop Ritter ofFr Goosens February 12, 1945 and served at St. Ann's until June 18, 1947.  He was also made Diocesan Director of the Propagation of Faith.

Archbishop Paul C. Schulte wanted to rebuild St. Ann's entire plant on a new site.  (1946)

It was noted by the Archbishop that St. Ann's was on the edge of a residential area and a move westward would place St. Ann's more in the center of her Catholic population.

The property Father Goosens was interested in was twenty-six lots (approximately five and one-half acres) in Lafayette Heights.  Bounded on the South by Troy Ave.; North by Berwin; East and West by alleys.

This ground was an excellent site, according to Father Goosens, for it sloped to the south and was near all utilities and public transportation.

Sites south of Troy at this time were not desirable according to Father Goosens for three reasons:

    1.  Inter-township school bus transportation problem.

    2.  Would require building own water supply and sewage disposal system.

    3.  Decatur Township had fewer Catholic people than Wayne Township.

School enrollment in September 1946 was 135 students.

A furnace blower was ordered for the Sister's house in order to force more heat into the West classrooms.

On June 18, 1947 Father Victor L. Goosens was relieved of parish work to devote his time and talents to the Propagation of Faith program.

Fr WilberdingOn June 18, 1947 Father Carl L. Wilberding (left) was appointed pastor of St. Ann's of Indianapolis by Archbishop Schulte.  Father Wilberding remained in service of St. Ann's until his retirement July 1, 1974.

The enthusiasm of Archbishop Schulte to relocate St. Ann's led Father Wilberding to believe that this possibility would be of historical value.

In many of the parishes he served, he had no recollection of any kind of a log or chronological record of their most important events.

Therefore his intention was to keep such a record because he realized the difficulty in obtaining such historical data.  (Bless you Father Carl for your foresight.)

Father Wilberding arrived at St. Ann's on July 1, 1947 at the height of the turmoil of relocating.  This turmoil of relocation would be with Father Wilberding and the people of St. Ann's for many years to come.  Also a part of St. Ann's Parish at this time was Tyndall Towne, a temporary veterans housing development of approximately seventy-five families in converted barracks at Stout Field.  A chapel was established for the convenience of these families.  Father Wilberding and another priest alternated one Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.  The Archbishop suggested that, since St. Ann's could possibly be relocated, expenses be cut to the bone.  So Father Wilberding understood to do only repair and maintenance necessary to keep prospect of selling the old location for a good sale price.

This was easier said than done for the pre-fab church erected in 1926 seated only 171 people.  The outhouse facilities for the school children created another problem, "unheard of in this day and age when sewer lines are so close," Father Wilberding said many times.

These pitiful conditions played havoc with attendance at school and church.  There were many who came to receive Holy Communion but did not attend Confessions here, going downtown to church.  Novena services in honor of St. Ann on Tuesday nights were poorly attended, but all Masses except 6 a.m. were crowded.

The people, Father Wilberding thought when he first arrived at St. Ann's, seem to be guarded about recognizing that St. Ann's was a Parish that could stand on its own feet.

On July 7, 1947 Father Wilberding had a meeting with the Archbishop who suggested Father look over several plans now on paper.  The Archbishop was eager to begin construction as soon as possible.

The option to buy the property in question was due to expire at midnight on July 15th.

The entry in Father Wilberding's journal dated July 14, 1947 reads as follows:

 Now this day Saint Ann has a 5 %2 acre tract and many doubts regarding its use.  But Saint Ann herself got this ground for us and if it is God's will she will see to it that we get to use it.  She is our agent in heaven.  Something we must never forget - but unfortunately we do sometimes forget.

Father Wilberding was formally installed as new pastor of St. Ann's of Indianapolis on Tuesday July 27, 1947.

On August 13, 1947 the blower for the furnace of the Sister's house, which Father Goosens ordered two years before was installed.


The County Zoning Board and its restrictions on certain type of residences (which the new Convent qualified as a restriction) gave St. Ann one strike, three times.  After three meetings with the Zoning Board, it was firm that there were to be no changes in the abstract of this restriction for thirty years.  (Abstract drawn up in 1924.)

With a thumbs down approach Father Wilberding's entry for that day was, "Strike 3-yer out.  To the showers on this deal."

The possibilities of other locations for the move were examined but more problems were uncovered.  The decision to stay put and try to buy more lots nearby for expansion was made by the Archbishop.

Twenty-six lots west of St. Ann's were sold and preparation to expand and build on present property reluctantly but relentlessly began.

About two miles north of St. Ann's is Stout Field where a 7500 foot South-West air strip had just been completed.

It was just after the children's Christmas party (December 21) that an Air National Guard plane crashed into a car carrying several mothers and children at the corner of South Holt and Kerr Road (Bradberry).  All of the people of St. Ann's offered daily prayers and the injured people recovered.


One more try for relocation failed in February.

Meanwhile in February the Choir had a new director but still had an old manual organ whose, "wheezing and puffing made it sound like it's out of breath most of the time," said Father Wilberding.

On Monday, March 21 (first day of spring) a new Minshall Estay electronic reed organ arrived and was most welcomed.

Father Wilberding operated a `Band-Aid' type of maintenance with little amount of money budgeted, decided to solve the `outhouse' problem for once and for all time.

He expanded the restrooms in the Church basement and "Praise the Lord," he wrote, eliminated the outhouse facilities.  "Now everbody is happy again," he concluded in his May 1 entry.

A predicted enrollment necessitated the building of a fifth classroom to be taught by a lay teacher.

The northeast corner of the old church was expanded for less than $200.00 because the Choir also needed more room.  (Father Wilberding and Jess, the maintenance man, did the wiring.)

On September 23, agreement is signed between architects, Hannan-Cordill and St. Ann by the pastor to begin the new school.  The cost of the new school was estimated to be $133,000.

(St. Joseph's Parish in Drexel Gardens, organized in 1949, took in some of St. Ann's territory.)

Jack Messmer Construction Company moved in with their bulldozers after the groundbreaking ceremony on May 8, and the dream of a new school began its journey into reality.

1917-1940    1950-1960