Parish History

The town of Youngsville was originally known as Royville and was laid out in 1839. It was re-incorporated in 1908 with its current name.

The area was first served by priests from St. John the Baptist Church in Vermillionville (Lafayette). On July 29, 1859, Mr. Desire Roy of Royville donated nine arpents of land to the Most Reverend Archbishop Antoine Blanc of New Orleans and his successors in office and requested by Fr.Etienne Jules Foltier, Assistant to Fr. Emile Hilaire, Pastor of Vermillionville. There was a Chapel and other buildings on the property donated.

Fr. Etienne Jules Foltier was the first resident pastor from 1859 to 1862. The parish was originally dedicated to St. Etienne, but the name and dedication was changed in 1869 to the current St. Anne.

After Fr. Foltier's departure in 1862 the parish was again served by the priest from Lafayette. In 1864, the condition of the original chapel was already "deplorable". Fr. Joseph Viau (1864 -1867), the second pastor oversaw the construction of a new church in 1867. On August 7, 1868, Archbishop Napoleon Perche wrote that he was going to bless the new building as he has promised Fr. Viau. It is not certain if this structure is the current church building which dates back to at least 1887 and which was remodeled in 1954.

Church records are unclear concerning the age of the current church building.What we do know is that the current building was standing in 1887. Whether it has any earlier history is what is unclear. In addition, the bell tower was originally constructed in the center of the church facade. However, somewhere around 1915, a storm damaged the tower and it was not rebuilt until 1953 when the bells were housed in a new cast stone brick belfry on the east side of the facade. The bell tower also displays a life-size figure of our patroness Saint Anne.

According to the parish records, the first Baptism performed in this parish was on March 28, 1859 by Fr. Foltier. Baptized was Jules Louviere, son of Clairville Louviere and Marguerite Mire. The first wedding performed was that of Bievenue Roy and Louise St. Julien on November 20, 1860 with Fr. Hilaire officiating. Two First Communion ceremonies were held in 1865 on February and May 18. The first time the sacrament of Confirmation was administered was August 22, 1865 by Archbishop Jean Marie Odin to 119 candidates.

Unfortunately, some of the church records, namely, First Communions and Confirmation records from 1859 to 1865 are missing. Also missing are funeral records to 1880. The first funeral and burial on record was that of Mrs. Nelson Higginbotham and Anastasie Broussard and is dated January 20, 1880. However the oldest monument in the cemetery is that of Clementine Roy, wife of Pierre Lassalle, born on January 15, 1839 and died on June 18, 1859.

Over the years, different portions of the original church territory of St. Anne Parish have been ceded to various churches in the area: first to Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Broussard in 1883; Our Lady of the Lake Church, Delcambre on October 1, 1900; Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church, Coteau on February 21, 1934, and finally, to St. Joseph Church, Milton on July 2, 1977. In addition, the mission church of St. John of the Cross was also maintained and staffed by St. Anne Church in the LeBlanc community from 1952 until 1973. When the mission was closed in 1973, the territory was transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Erath.

St. Anne Parish Hall was dedicated on September 19, 1983, under the administration of Rev. Francois Bussieres. Religious education classes are held in the ten classrooms that are provided. The large portion of the hall hosts many different activities and socials for the church parish. A new rectory was built in 1967 under the administration of Father John Windt. The rectory and offices were renovated in 1990, under the administration of Rev. Jody Simoneaux. In 1996, we began planning for a complete renovation of the church. New stained glass windows were installed and the current handicapped ramp and coverings on the sides and front of the church were added in addition to paved parking to the right of the church and rectory. Also, wooden doors were built to replace the glass doors that were previously on the church.

As of 2003, we have received permission from the bishop to proceed with the rest of the renovations. Plans are currently underway to renovate the entire church and grounds as to create a more inviting environment for all who attend.

Besides the hundreds of grave sties that are in St. Anne Cemetery, there are currently, also five mausoleums. The first, St. Anne Mausoleum was built in 1963. Garden Catacomb, which was built next, was built in 1969. Chabrier Mausoleum, located behind the Parish Hall, was constructed in 1976. Assumption Mausoleum, which is located next to Chabrier, was complete in 1981. Construction began on the fifth mausoleum, Garden Mausoleum, which is located to the back right of the cemetery in 1990. The final addition to Garden Mausoleum will be completed this year.

Over the years, St. Anne's Christian Community has given four priests to serve the needs of the church: Fr. Henry Bordeaux, OCD, ordained for the Carmelite Friars in 1962; Fr. Rex Broussard ordained in 1966 and currently pastor of St. Basil in Lafayette; Fr. Richard Fabre, ordained in 1973 and currently serving Nativity of Our Lady Catholic Church, New Iberia; and Fr. Jason Mouton, ordained in 1992 and is our current St. Anne pastor.