Second Catholic church in Houston; outgrowth of St. Vincent's parish, established in 1839. Although founding pastor planned edifice (1867-1874) in style worthy of a cathedral, it never gained that status. Standing near business center, this was church of early leaders of Houston and has ministered to the great of Texas and to thousands of visitors. The cornerstone was laid April 25, 1869, by dignitaries who marched to this site from old St. Vincent's (8 blks. NE).
Memorial windows, frescoes, and other treasures of art have been added by parishioners. Great coastal hurricane of 1900 wrecked the 196-foot steeple, but it was restored. Penitential spirit was assured by having no heat in the church prior to 1914; no air-conditioning until the late 1930's.Known as mother church of more than 50 parishes, Annunciation in a century has had 5 pastors: the Very Rev. Joseph Querat (1867-1878); the Very Rev. Thomas Hennessy (1879-1913); the Rt. Rev. Msgr. George Walsh (1934-1943); the Very Rev. Thomas Hogan (1934-1943); the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Anton J. Frank (since 1943) an ordinant of this church.
One of great occasions in this edifice was 1953 installation of 37 knights and ladles of the Holy Sepulcher by James Francis Cardinal McIntyre.