History of St Jude

History of St. Jude Parish


1930’s and 1940’s

St. Jude Parish had its origin as a mission church of Saint Michael’s Parish in Netcong. It was established to accommodate the summer residents of Budd Lake, then a popular vacation spot. Few people had cars in the 1930’s and the trek to St. Michael’s on a hot summer Sunday was difficult for many. During that time there was enough demand to have a priest from St. Michael’s travel to Budd Lake to conduct Sunday Mass. Mass was said in Budd’s Pavilion, a local dance palace. To accommodate the priest’s needs, a portable altar was set up. Although this was a satisfactory arrangement for many years, it soon became obvious that more was needed.

America’s entry into Word War II saw an overnight shift in priorities, and it was not until 1946 that any further progress was made. With the permission of Monsignor Edwin E. Lange of St. Michael’s, a committee was formed to raise money for a new church. On February 19, 1946 Bishop Thomas McLaughlin, Bishop of the Paterson Diocese, granted permission for the construction of a new church. Catholics of Budd Lake worked hard to collect enough money to start building. Fund raising efforts included bridge parties, games of chance, family picnics and other ingenious methods. The church building that originally stood at the edge of Mount Olive Road and was referred to as “The Little Church” was completed before the end of 1946.


1960’s and 1970’s

On June 12, 1967, Father Leo Carey was appointed the first resident pastor of St. Jude Church. St. Jude’s was now a parish community unto itself and no longer dependent on St. Michael’s. Subsequently the first baptism was celebrated on July 30, 1967 and the first marriage was celebrated on September 16, 1967. The Reverend John White was appointed as the second pastor of St. Jude Parish in 1970, and in 1979 Father Joseph Cassidy was appointed the third pastor by Bishop Frank Rodimer.

As the parish grew, Sunday Mass in the “Little Church” was no longer feasible. Although daily Mass, funerals, weddings, baptisms, and special celebrations were still held in the little church, the five Sunday Masses were moved to a new Parish Center constructed in 1972. In 1979, a rectory was built as a residence for the parish clergy.


1980’s and 1990’s

St. Jude Parish followed the rapid growth of its home town. Once more, it was clear that it was time for a change. As the Parish grew to over 800 families, the center, now used not only for Sunday Mass but also for CCD, bingo and other events, was no longer able to accommodate the parish.

In November of 1986 the decision was made to build a new parish church. The announcement of that decision was made by Father Cassidy at the Mass commemorating the 40th anniversary of “The Little Church”. A committee was formed to guide the liturgical, architectural, and financial aspects of the project. In March, 1987, Mr. Paul Reilly was selected as architect and the Reverend Richard Vosko was retained as the liturgical consultant. The task of construction was awarded to Bjork Construction Company.

A ground breaking ceremony took place on March 13, 1988, with Bishop Frank Rodimer turning over the first spade of dirt. A large turnout of clergy, town dignitaries and parishioners came to witness the momentous occasion. Vollers Construction Company began site preparations that same month and construction of the church began in April of 1988.

With the help of Community Counseling Services, the parish initiated a fund drive in August 1987. The response of the parishioners was overwhelming, and nearly $1,500,000 dollars was pledged by the end of the initial campaign. Work progressed on the church from the fall of 1987 until the spring of 1990. The church was completed in May of 1990 and Bishop Rodimer set the day of dedication for June 10, 1990 at 3:00 PM.