On October 14, 2018, St. Jude Parish celebrated its 75th Anniversary. For the past year, we researched our history, published a new directory, and challenged our parishioners to perform “75 Acts of Kindness” in the community. We marked this historic occasion with two separate celebrations.
On Saturday, October 13, there was a formal dinner, attended by over 250 current and past parishioners, at Lorain County Community College where the inaugural Pillar of Hope and Legacy Awards were given out.
The St. Jude Pillar of Hope Award recognizes personal commitment to promoting hospitality and compassion through active involvement in our St. Jude community. These recipients have modeled the faith and brought hope to others through their participation in the sacramental life of the parish and their commitment to humble service.
Recipients of this year’s Pillar of Hope Award were: Bill and Jean Koch, Marty and Pearl Lisowski and Marcia Pichola.
The St. Jude Legacy Award recognizes a lifetime commitment to our parish as well as a dedication to Catholic values, servant leadership and living a faith-filled life which has left a legacy that is the foundation of our faith community.
Recipients of this year’s Legacy Award were: Jackie Cannarella, Ninabelle Osborne, Len and Peg Reichlin, Bernie and Virginia Schlather, Fran Schuster and Vic and Karen Turk.
On Saturday, October 20, Bishop Nelson Perez of the Diocese of Cleveland celebrated the 4:30 p.m. Mass. Immediately following the Mass was a cake cutting ceremony in Carrabine Hall with the Bishop followed by an open house in St. Jude School. The open house featured displays and videos showcasing the 75 year history. Tours of the school and the Helping Hands food pantry were available. Numerous appetizer stations and a bonfire with s’mores rounded out the evening.
St. Jude Parish was founded on October 14, 1943 in the northeast corner of Elyria with Fr. John A. Carrabine as its first Pastor. It was said that there was a pastor and 120 families as parishioners but no physical plant, so, within days of its founding, Sunday Mass began in the auditorium of Ely School. By 1947 the families numbered 300 and in 1948 a 21 acre site on Poplar Street was chosen as the parish center. The rectory was added in 1949 and a combination of church and school in 1951. By the time Fr. Carrabine died on November 18, 1957 the school had 540 students, 10 classrooms and teachers, and a convent for the Sisters of Notre Dame who taught in the school.
Fr. Martin T. Engelhardt became the second Pastor on December 26, 1957 and continued to accommodate the growing school population and implemented the changes in the Church called for by the Second Vatican Council. In January of 1973, Fr. Engelhardt retired and was succeeded by Fr. John Buza.
Fr. Buza introduced a Parish Renewal Program, provided for the use of laity as liturgical ministers for reading scripture and for the distribution of Holy Communion. In 1984 the RCIA was introduced to bring people into the Catholic Faith. Ill health required Fr. Buza to resign the pastorate in 1985.
Fr. Frank Kosem became the fourth pastor on June 27, 1985 and his youthfulness, energy, and cheerfulness immediately flowed through the parish’s life. The annual Festival and Bar-b-que on Labor Day Sunday was started, and both a Finance Council and Parish Council were formed, to assist the pastor with the challenges of overseeing a parish of this size. An army of volunteer gardeners worked to beautify the property, bereavement meals were offered at funerals, women as Pastoral Ministers were brought on Staff and the St. Vincent de Paul Society evolved into today’s Helping Hands Food Pantry. The Christmas Giving-Tree project began, the new church was dedicated in 1991, the school was again expanded, the gym and Family Center were added, and the athletic field was improved.
For the past 75 years St. Jude Parish has been a staple in the faith community in Elyria and surrounding cities. As we look back at the past 75 years, we are hopeful for continued growth and development for the next 75.
LCCC Dinner and Awards
75th Anniversary Mass and School Open House