St. Jude Church Gathers Flock For 50th Anniversary
Published: October 28, 2010
Gilbert Szvarca spoons on a salsa-based sauce over Joanne Mazza O’Donnell’s kabobs. O’Donnell was married at St. Jude the Apostle Church in 1997.
The congregation of St. Jude the Apostle Church, Sandy Springs, celebrated its 50th anniversary with one large outdoor Mass, followed by a parish picnic, Oct. 17. (Photos by Michael Alexander)
Sylvia Le and her 10-month-old son Raphael enjoy the festivities surrounding the parish anniversary picnic.
Father Roger Araujo, right, chaplain for the Brazilian Catholic community at St. Jude the Apostle Church, stands with Brazilian native Marli Silva and her 8-month-old grandson Michael Alexzander.
The late Msgr. John Stapleton was the founding pastor of St. Jude the Apostle Church, Sandy Springs. Today it is an active parish of some 1,500 families.
ATLANTA—The parish named for St. Jude has a dedication to its patron saint that has been a part of the community from the very beginning and continues today, on its 50th anniversary. The story is recounted in the latest parish bulletin anticipating the Oct. 28 feast of St. Jude.
Land for the parish was donated to the Diocese of Atlanta by the Spalding family in 1960, who asked then Bishop Francis Hyland if the church could be named for St. Jude, a favorite saint of the family who they said had pulled the family “out of a good many holes.” Then the founding pastor, Msgr. John Stapleton, brought his personal devotion to the parish since as a child he had become gravely ill and his parents prayed to St. Jude for his recovery. His parents believed their prayers and novenas to St. Jude assisted as he gradually got well. Chosen first pastor of a parish named for St. Jude, Msgr. Stapleton was inspired to make a special effort to spread devotion to the saint who had so touched his life. He set a tradition of the parish reciting the “Prayer to St. Jude” at each Sunday Mass. When he left in 1968, he asked that the parish keep the tradition of spreading devotion to St. Jude the Apostle alive with weekly petitions to the patron saint at every Sunday Mass. The prayer and story are on the front of the Oct. 24 parish bulletin.