Parish History

In May 1956, two priests from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), St. Peter's Province, Ottawa, came to Edmonton at the request of the Edmonton Separate School Board to teach at St. Joseph's High School.  The following June, the Jasper Place Separate School Board asked if one of the priests could take the post of Principal of St. Luke's High School.  Thus Father Brendan Megannety, OMI, and Joseph McNeil, OMI, came to live at a small house at 9601 - 163 Street.  With the completion of the new St. Francis Xavier High School in 1959, these two priests were joined by Father John Mulligan, OMI.  Masses were held in the school auditorium.

The first parish priest, Father Myles Power, OMI, arrived in August 1959, and during his two years in Jasper Place, he organized what was then called St. Francis Xavier Parish, and began plans to build a church.  Father James Carroll, OMI, continued this work and construction began in early 1962 with architect George Jellinek. Construction was of reinforced concrete and steel over an area of 12,900 square feet for a seating capacity of 730.

An outstanding design feature was the long, high nave, achieved by the use (at that time) of the longest unsupported steel trusses in Western Canada, giving an unobstructed view of the altar from every part of the nave.  Fifty-four lamps scattered in random pattern high up gave a starlight effect, and behind the black marble altar rose a mural symbolizing the sacraments, designed by Herta Jellinek, wife of the architect.  Suspended from the 22 foot cross placed in the Sanctuary was a seven and a half foot lindenwood figure of Christ, carved in Bolzano, Italy, by Ferdinando Stuflesser Studios,

The Stations of the Cross were unique in Canada, being a revival of the medieval technique of painting in reverse on glass.  The 14 tableaux, a gift from the architect, were the work of Ms. Ernestine Tahedl, a young Viennese artist who had recently arrived in Canada.

The church and the rectory were completed in June 1963 at a total cost of $319,571 for construction and furnishings.  Solemn blessing, dedication and opening ceremonies were conducted by His Grace Archbishop Anthony Jordan, OMI, on May 19, 1963.

As his last official act in 1961, Father Myles Power requested of His Grace Archbishop Jordan that the title of the parish be one of Our Lady's titles.  The name "Annunciation" was chosen, made official, and used for the first time May 12, 1963.