December 1, 2017 // Parish

Community, service and prayer: the foundations of St. Jude Parish

St. Jude Parish is lovingly referred to by parishioners as “one of the best kept secrets on the south side of South Bend.” Although the parish has faced challenges and undergone changes throughout its history, it has nevertheless remained a community united by service and prayer. Originally founded in 1948 to accommodate the growing population of Catholics on the south side after World War II, St. Jude Parish has continuously strived to grow and improve in order to best serve the residents of the area. The latest improvements, renovation of the church and additions to the school building, completed in 2013, exemplify the genuine desire of the members of the parish to give glory to God, and to “proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed,” as the St. Jude mission statement reads.

Because of the relatively small size of the parish and the dedicated involvement of the parishioners, there is a “wonderful, family-oriented feeling about the parish” and “a great closeness and unity,” pastor Father John Delaney commented. Daily Mass is regularly attended by a group 50-strong, and it is common for parishioners to stay after all Masses to visit with one another and extend a warm welcome to any visitors. For 25 years St. Jude was known in the area for its annual summer festival, which was always anticipated with excitement by both the parish and the local community. After a brief hiatus, the new and improved St. Jude Festival is being resurrected and will take place in late July of 2018.

Recent renovations give the interior of St. Jude Church, South Bend, a welcoming, chapel-like feel.

The school and the parish are closely connected, and parishioners support the school and the students in various ways: The athletic schedule is posted in the bulletin for anyone who wants to cheer on the Falcons; parishioners attend school productions, such as the annual spring musical; and there is an active program in which parishioners commit to mentoring a student for the year.

The students, following this example, take pride in their school and support one another, even after graduation. Mary Krisch, business manager at St. Jude Parish, illustrated this, saying, “Many of our students go on to Marian for high school, and when they see each other in the hall they put their hands together and ‘Fly the Falcon.’ That reminds you that you are a St. Jude student. I think it’s pretty unique that they still want to keep their identity as St. Jude Falcons.”

Despite being part of a close-knit community, St. Jude parishioners do not hesitate to look beyond the walls of their church and school to see the needs of the greater South Bend community. St. Jude is home to a dynamic and active St. Vincent de Paul conference; in fact, of the 18 St. Vincent de Paul conferences in St. Joseph County, St. Jude’s made 10 percent of the home deliveries in the county last year. The school puts on monthly food drives in which the classes compete to collect the most food, and it is not unusual for parishioners to go out of their way to pick up bags of food to donate outside of the tri-yearly food drives.

A Divine Mercy stained glass window, added during the latest renovation in 2013, provides radiant light to the interior of St. Jude Church, South Bend.

Faith formation and prayer are integral to the life of the parish. The St. Jude RCIA program has blossomed under a Spirit-filled leadership team that includes J. Patout Burns, a retired theology professor and Augustine Scholar, and Marian High School theology teacher Tom Dlugosz. “There is a real depth to the material,” said Father Delaney. The weekly meetings even attract parishioners who are already fully initiated members of the parish but who want to deepen their own understanding of the faith and support the candidates.

There are many ways for parishioners to grow in their faith at St. Jude. Small faith-sharing groups, originally formed years ago as Disciples in Mission groups, are still in existence and meet regularly to pray together and study the Bible or diocesan programs like Arise. A group meets weekly to pray the rosary together, and there is a charismatic prayer group that meets once a month.

It is the multifaceted prayer life of the parish that nurtures the familial community and desire to serve. Father Delaney summed up the heart of St. Jude by saying “St. Jude is a Spirit-filled parish, backed by the prayers of each of the many groups. These prayers strengthen the parish overall and help open the hearts of the parishioners, making the parish what it is.”

St. Jude

19704 Johnson Rd.

South Bend, IN 46614-5441 574-291-0570

Mass Times:

Sunday — 8 and 10 a.m.

Saturday — 4:30 p.m.
Weekday — Mon. – 5:30 p.m.; Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri. – 8 a.m.   

Adoration: First Friday following morning Mass till noon.

Reconciliation: Saturday — 3-4 p.m.; or anytime by appointment

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