I remember the homily that Father Mike Slattery, our former pastor, gave one Pentecost Sunday. His homily was all about "church" and it concluded with the following: "If someone should ask, 'tell me, what is the church of Saint Jude like?' You might be tempted to describe this lovely building. Of course you would be wrong. This building is where the church meets to worship. The proper response, therefore is this: 'The church at Saint Jude is warm, caring and gifted.' And then, as an afterthought, 'Oh yes, the building is nice too."
The point he was making is that although we commonly refer to the building in which we worship as "the church", the church is really made up of people, like you and I, who come together as God's family to give praise and thanks to the God who loves us so much.
We do indeed have a nice church/worship space thanks to the generosity of so many of our parishioners who made it all possible.
I'd like to invite you to join me on a tour of our parish campus, focusing on the worship space where our parish family gathers on Sundays for Mass and for so many other sacred celebrations.
As you drive down 2nd Avenue and enter our parish grounds, you catch your first glimpse of our church.
Notice the sign in the lower right side of the picture identifying this as Saint Jude Church. This piece of stonework was over the front entrance of the old church building.
It is now placed in a position of honor as a reminder to the sacrifices and generosity of past generations in building our previous places of worship.
(By the way, you can click on the pictures if you would like to see a larger view. Then click the back arrow on your browser to return to the tour.)
There is ample parking on both sides of the street when you enter the parish campus using 2nd Avenue. Of course you can always drive to our west parking lot where additional space is available.
On April 3, 2003 our church was dedicated by Bishop Joseph Imesch, who celebrated the first Mass in our new church together with Fr. Mike Slattery, our pastor at the time, and many parishioners. Also present were village officials and pastors of many of the local Christian churches.
On the cornerstone, to the right of the main entrance, are the words that for many years greeted parishioners and visitors as they entered the doorway of our old church, "There are no strangers here, only friends we haven't met." We have always strived to be a welcoming community - open to all who come here to find Jesus in Sacred Scripture, the Eucharist and in a loving and worshiping community.
Also to the right of the main entrance you will find a statue of Jesus' mother Mary - our "Lady of Grace."
It is here, in the month of May, that the crowning of Mary takes place.
Mary has always had a special place in the Church because of her saying an unconditional "Yes" to God when she was asked to be the mother of our Lord and Savior. "Behold the handmaiden of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word."
While we do not worship Mary (worship belongs only to God) Mary does have a special place of honor in the Church.
Mary is truly a role model for all disciples.
To the left of the entrance of the Church is a "Memorial to the Unborn". It is dedicated to all those children who never had the chance for life as a result of abortion.
The Knights of Columbus erected this memorial to call our attention to the need for all people to respect life, from conception to death, as precious gift from God.
For those who may just be passing by and wonder what are the times when Mass is celebrated here at St. Jude, we have etched the Mass Schedule in the glass panel between the church doors.
A covered portico provides a bit of shelter from rain and snow for the main entrance to our church.
Click on the doors of the church to enter and continue your tour.