Our historic church has stood the test of time. It is a monument to the men and women who over the years have poured their heart and soul into Annunciation parish for the glory of God and to advance the saving mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. They handed to us the fruit of their solemn dedication to the Catholic community in Houston. With time, however, comes structural deterioration to our church and facilities must be addressed.
Presently, our pastor’s residence and parish offices are located in temporary facilities in the old co-cathedral rectory on Pierce Street. Typical parish life is impossible at the church location on Texas Avenue with the exception of weekend and daily Masses, and our ability to offer parish ministry programs such as children’s, youth, & adult religious education, sacrament preparation programs, RCIA, and choir is impractical. There are many more apostolates and ministries we need to develop in our parish but we don’t have the space to accommodate them.
Lack of Parish Offices, Meeting and Classroom Space
Currently we are in dire need of parish offices, meeting and classroom space. When the old Annunciation School building was demolished in 1995, it eliminated classroom and meeting space for religious education classes and parish meetings. As a result, meetings reverted to the rectory and we borrow the cafeteria at Incarnate Word Academy to provide classroom space.
- Youth education in the Catholic faith is vital. Currently, all but one age group meets at tables in the one room cafeteria at Incarnate Word Academy. Teachers don’t have access to the basic teaching tools such as a white board and materials’ storage.
- When the rectory was demolished in October 2014, we again needed to move the location of our meetings. Our pastor and parish staff is now crammed into a rented, small office space at the old co-cathedral office building on Pierce Street 18 blocks from the church.
- We hold parish meetings in the vestibule of the church sometimes at inconvenient times due to the Mass schedule and competing needs for adequate space to support our apostolates and ministries.
No Permanent Residence for the Pastor
We no longer have a permanent residence for our pastor and any other priests or seminarians who may be assigned to Annunciation. In October of 2014, the dilapidated parish rectory was demolished.
- Over 100 years old, it was saturated with termites and structurally unsound. In addition, expensive asbestos abatement was required before the building was torn down.
- Plumbing water pipes were corroded and choked with calcification.
- The old rectory roof was porous and leaked during heavy rain.
- The electrical wiring was deemed unsafe.
- With no permanent home, our pastor resides in a rented room at the old co-cathedral rectory on Pierce Street 18 blocks from the church, the same location of the parish offices.
Inadequate Restrooms in the Church
Our church restrooms are also inadequate. Unfortunately, the present configuration of restrooms at the church requires parishioners and visitors to walk outside the church in inclement weather.
- Both the men’s and ladies room are configured with only one toilet and one sink.
- Neither of these single restrooms are ADA compliant.
- Continuous plumbing problems continue to erode parish funds.
- On major feast days, it’s not unusual to see a line of 10 or more waiting for the restroom facilities.
Lack of Bride’s Room
We also lack a bride’s room. Many parishioners and Catholic non-parishioners hope to marry in our historic church.
- Currently, approximately 50 weddings per year are conducted in our church and requests grow every year.
- Because we currently lack a space in the church for the bride and family, the north foyer church door is locked and curtains are hung on the foyer doors to offer privacy for the bride. This arrangement impedes the entrance of guests who are arriving for the wedding. The foyer has no air conditioning which creates less than desirable conditions for bride and her bridesmaids as they are about to walk down the aisle.
Scant Space for a Proper Sacristy
Our present sacristy is also not sufficient for our needs. With the demolition of the rectory and ante-sacristy, it is no longer conveniently situated nor is it large enough to meet the needs of our priests to vest and properly prepare to celebrate Mass.