St. Jude’s Parish in Rockville Celebrates 60 Years of Faith

Monday, October 24, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Catholic community of the Shrine of Saint Jude in Rockville celebrates their 60th Anniversary this year. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, celebrated Mass with the parish faithful to mark the milestone anniversary on Sunday, October 23.

The cardinal began his homily by recounting the historical significance of the parish community, established by then-archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle in June of 1956. It was thanks to a gift from the family of Dr. Charles Allen that the archdiocese was able to purchase the ten-acre tract of land for the church that is now the center and heart of Saint Jude Thaddeus parish. St. Jude is the patron of desperate causes. In 1971, the church was completed and blessed by Cardinal O’Boyle. At that point, the name of the parish was changed to the Shrine of Saint Jude.

The cardinal explained, “The celebration of the parish is also a recognition of our connectedness to the larger Church and certainly to the beginning of the Catholic faith in Maryland with the arrival in 1634 of the Ark and the Dove, the two small ships carrying about a 150 pilgrims to the New World.”

He continued, “Our spiritual history, our history as a faith family, our history as the Church begins with the coming of Jesus.  We identify ourselves as a faith community, as people who accept Jesus, his Gospel, his teaching and follow him in the hope of someday joining him forever in the glory of his heavenly Father. The Pope teaches us that in hearing and accepting Jesus’ Gospel and message we do so not just as individuals but as God’s family, His Church. The Liturgy today is a reminder to us of how good God is to us in his merciful compassion and how we approach that mercy through our own humility and awareness of need.”

Cardinal Wuerl referenced Pope Benedict XVI’s 2005 encyclical Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), using the description of the ancient Church found in the Acts of the Apostles to describe the life and purpose of the Church today: to pray, hear the teaching of the Apostles, build community, and join in breaking of the bread. Referencing Saint John Paul II’s 2003 encyclical on the Eucharist, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, the cardinal said, “When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the memorial of her Lord’s death and Resurrection, this central event of salvation becomes really present and ‘the work of our redemption is carried out.’”

What is seen at the Shrine of St. Jude Parish can be seen throughout the entire diocesan Church and the whole Church Universal, the cardinal said, “We are God’s people, we come together to be formed by God’s Word, we come together to be nourished by the sacraments, most particularly the Eucharist, and we come together so that out of God’s love for us and our love for God and one another we can care for the needs of one another.”

The celebration not only commemorates the fidelity of this portion of God’s family and looks back on the accomplishments of the past, but also looks to the future as the Church passes on the faith, said the cardinal as he congratulated the parish on its anniversary.


The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Chieko Noguchi,
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