ST. JUDE THE APOSTLE CHURCH PARISH AND
The new and permanent church building, along with the priest’s
residence (now the Ministry/Education Bldg), was completed in late 1974. The Reverend Clement H. Funke, C.S.C., was appointed founding pastor.
He was the first of several Holy Cross priests to serve in the diocese.
Until his death, The Reverend Edwin D. Bauer, C.S.C., who was assigned
to assist the Reverend Daniel
Walsh, C.S.C., in the non-Catholic hospitals and nursing homes
The boundaries of the parish include areas south of
The Reverend Monsignor Patrick Gillespie, P.A. Vicar General of the
Diocese of Baton Rouge, on
John A Bani A.I.A. was the architect for the church and rectory (now the Ministry/Education Building). General contractor was the Albert H. Hart Corporation. Engineers for the new buildings included: Perrault & Perrault, Inc. (Structural), William J. LeBlanc (mechanical), and Joel I. Forrest (electrical).
Fr. Michael Collins began as Pastor in 1984,
and through his 13-year tenure was joined by Associate Pastors: Fr. Walter
Kersey, Fr. Trey Nelson, Fr. Joel LaBauve, and Fr.
Duane Breaux. In the late 1980’s,
with the addition of more parish personnel, a new rectory was built facing
In 1992, with private contributions from parishioners, stained glass windows were designed by artist Stephen Wilson and installed throughout the newly renovated church.
Fr. David Allen celebrated Mass as St. Jude’s new pastor in the summer of
1997, assisted by newly ordained Associate Pastor, Fr. Michael
Fr. Michael was transferred to Immaculate Conception Church in Denham
Springs in 1999, and Fr. Francis Lonakutty was
named the new Associate Pastor.
Fr. Francis served until June, 2001, when he was transferred to Most Blessed
Sacrament Church. Fr. Christopher
Decker spent a year as the Associate Pastor beginning in July 2008.
In 1999, with the parish
membership thriving, plans were made to convert the rectory on
Fr. Trey Nelson became pastor of St. Jude in July, 2009. Currently, the Parish personnel includes the following: Fr. Trey Nelson, Pastor; Frank Bains, Deacon; Curt Reeson, Deacon; Mary Rogers, Director of Religious Education; Charmaine Biossat, Director of Ministries; Jennifer Robeau, Office Manager; Cindi Langlois, Bookkeeper; Linda McVay, Receptionist/Secretary; Christie Guillory, D.R.E. Assistant; Claudette St. Amant, Assistant to Director of Ministries; Larry Waguespack, Director of Facilities; Warren Scott, Assistant to Director of Facilities; Karen Jakuback, School Principal.
The groundwork for
At the same time, the School Board of St. Aloysius was petitioned with
the unique request of establishing an extension of St. Aloysius School on the
campus of St. Jude. The
multi-purpose facility at St. Jude would provide the spaced needed and St.
Aloysius would provide the experience and administrative leadership in the
person of Mr. Alan Powers, Principal of St. Aloysius School.
The plan was tentatively approved for one year and was supported by Sr.
Mary Magdalene, Superintendent of Diocesan Schools, as well as the Diocesan
The groundbreaking ceremony was held in October, 1982.
Construction was completed in August, 1983.
The school on the campus of St. Jude opened as planned on
v Mr. Martin Davila – Grade Two
v Mrs. Claire Weaver – Grade One
v Miss Marion Curet – Kindergarten
v Mrs. Donna Bolton – Kindergarten
v Mrs. Jane Neal – Secretary
v Mr. Alan Powers – Principal
From the opening day, classes
have been full at
New Pastor, Fr. Michael Collins arrived at St. Jude Parish in 1984. Kathy Meares was hired as Assistant Principal with Mr. Powers as Principal. The school consisted of two sections of ½ day Kindergarten, two First Grades, one Second Grade, and one Third Grade. The total enrollment in 1984 was 154 students. The classes averaged 25 students per section and the school produced its first yearbook.
The multi-purpose building soon was “busting at the seams.” Remodeling had taken place to accommodate al the new students; however, it was apparent that more room was needed. Construction then began during the 1986-87 school year on the elementary building.
During the 1986-87 school year, Enrichment classes were added in the form of P.E. and Music. Ms. Kieran Landry was the original P.E. Teacher. Band was offered, but interest waned after one year. A Fifth Grade section was added and Kindergarten remained half-day sessions.
The First Jr. High class, a self-contained 7th grade, formed.
Clubs grew with the addition of the Jr. Beta Club and an Art Club.
One Eighth Grade Section was added.
(The school’s first graduating class).Jr. High started to
departmentalize. Band was
introduced again and a Student Council formed.
Once again, a committee was formed to evaluate the facilities and a
decision was made to construct a
Construction of a new Library/Science Building began. An Assistant Principal, Mrs. Karen Jakuback, was hired. An IBM Writing-to-Read Computer Lab was made possible through a federal grant and was housed in the activity center. The school was now full with two sections of each grade. Mrs. Kathleen Meares resigned as Principal in May, 1992.
The new Library/Science Building was dedicated. Mrs. Joy Wagener assumed the role as Principal. Mrs. Terri Callender was hired as the school’s Art Teacher. In addition to the regular classroom curricula, Enrichment studies included Art, Music, Physical Education, and Computer. A Development and Religious Education Office formed – Mrs. Sherry Seal became the part-time Development Coordinator, and Mrs. Mary Rogers, became the part-time Religious Education Coordinator. (Both of them taught in the mornings and assumed the other roles in the afternoon).
A second Physical Education Teacher, Mrs. Tanna Moses, was added. Mrs. Mary Margaret Bains was hired as Administrative Assistant to assist with the office workload and to assist in further departmentalizing the Math and Reading Programs of the Middle School.
After much discussion on the School Board level, foreign language was added to the Enrichment schedule. Mrs. Dana Hornsby joined the faculty as the school’s Spanish teacher.
With 667 students, the school year began with a packed house. At the beginning of this year, there were six full-time and four part-time teaching assistants, with 31 faculty members and an eight-member Administrative and support staff. An Athletic Association formed and Intramural sports began for Pre-K through 4th grades. The school offered Cheerleading, Cougarettes, Football, Boys and Girls Basketball and Track, Girls Volleyball, Quiz Bowl, Band, and Honor Choir. Spanish classes were extended to grades 5th-8th and Computer was offered to all grades. The school’s computer lab shined with 26 brand new Gateway computers that were installed before the second semester began. Fr. Michael Collins, after 13 years of service in the parish, was transferred to Most Blessed Sacrament Parish and School.
Fr. David Allen was appointed Pastor of St. Jude Parish, with Fr.
Michael Miceli serving as Associate Pastor.
Ms. Kieran Landry officially left the P.E. position, and Mrs. Nola
Richard was hired as Mrs. Moses’ assistant.
Mrs. Dana Territo assumed the position of Religion/Development/Computer
Director when Mary Rogers moved to the parish level.
Middle School grade leveling began in the subjects of Math and
The school reached the 21st century by getting wired!
Hubs, fiber-optic cables, etc. were all newly learned vocabulary terms
for faculty and staff. The school
officially went on-line and a new software grade program was reviewed.
Mrs. Sheila Howard received a National Math Award at the NCEA
Fr. Francis Lonakutty, from
Fifty-five faculty and staff members began the year with a student enrollment of approximately 651. The school’s new Science Teacher, Ms. Shawn Kleinpeter, returned to her alma mater to teach that subject. (She was a member of the first graduating class). The Athletic Association voted to expand the cheerleading squad to 10 students in each grade level of 6th, 7th and 8th. The grading system was now on computers. Teachers expanded their learning styles to integrate with technology. Mrs. Janette Saylor was named the 2001 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Sue Brandao and Mrs. Peggy Fairchild received recognition by the RAINBOWS organization for their hard work and dedication to the school’s program. The MathCounts club members were recognized for numerous honors for their high achievements in tournaments during the year.
Fifty-six faculty and staff members began the year with a student enrollment of approximately 640. The School Board changed its name to “School Advisory Council.” Dana Territo moved to be Director of Ministries at the parish level, and the Religion/Development Office split with the hiring of two staff members: Mrs. Sylvia Kress, Religion Coordinator; and Mrs. Kelly Elliott, Development Coordinator. Mrs. Angelle Saia became full-time Guidance Counselor. The Computer Lab was re-evaluated and plans were underway to lease machines and to upgrade the present Computer Lab, under the direction of Mrs. Donna Bolton.