St. Jude Catholic Church, Allen, Texas

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St. Jude Catholic Church
Country United States
DenominationRoman Catholicism
Minister(s)Fr. Tim Church
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St. Jude Catholic Church
Country United States
DenominationRoman Catholicism
Minister(s)Fr. Tim Church

St. Jude Catholic Church is Catholic parish of the Diocese of Dallas. It is located in Allen, Texas. The first Catholic church in the city of Allen, it was established in 1981.[1] This parish was created with 50 founding members, including organizer Don Rodenbaugh.[2] A new sanctuary was opened in 2005.[3]



A small group of Catholics from Allen, Fairview, and Lucas, Texas, came together in 1980 to consider the possibility of establishing a Catholic Mission in the city of Allen. After countless hours of legwork and paperwork, Bishop Thomas Tschoepe granted them permission to begin this journey.

The first public Mass of the newly formed St. Jude Catholic Community was offered at Rountree Elementary School on Sunday, July 5, 1981. It was originally established as a mission chapel of St. Michael's in McKinney, then later reassigned to St. Mark's in Plano. It was served on alternate Sundays by Rev. David Fellhauer (now, Bishop of Victoria) and Rev. Duffy Gardner (now, Monsignor, retired).

In 1981, St. Mark the Evangelist in Plano donated 10 acres of land in Allen. An architect was hired to design a temporary parish facility in 1983. Fr. Tom Cloherty was assigned as the first pastor of St. Jude on August 1, 1983. Daily Masses were offered above the feed store in downtown Allen until the completion of the first building project. The first Mass was said on November 3, 1984, in the new church facility.

In 1989, the parish began construction on the Religious Education building. The religious education classes and Rainbow Days Preschool, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010, had been operating in the classrooms which now serve as offices. During this phase of construction, Fr. Tom was transferred to Holy Spirit in Duncanville; Fr. Bruce Bradley came to the parish from St. Elizabeth in Bonham. In 1998, an additional 10-acres of land adjacent to the property was purchased from the diocese. Fr. Bruce remained the pastor of St. Jude until 1999, when he was transferred to Mary Immaculate in Farmers Branch.

In 1999, Fr. Tim Church was assigned as priest-in-charge of St. Jude. Due to its growth in Allen, St. Jude had already begun using the Activity Center as overflow for the larger Masses. The population of Allen boomed in the next decade - and with it, the size of the parish grew from 1,700 families to just under 4,500 families. Within 18 months of Fr. Tim's arrival, the existing mortgages were retired, and a building committee was formed to design a permanent church. St. Jude broke ground on their new sanctuary a year ahead of schedule on July 3, 2004. On November 12, 2005, Bishop Charles Grahmann dedicated the new permanent church. [4]

In 2008, St. Jude purchased 7.2 acres adjacent on the south of their campus. As the parish continues to expand, plans are in the works for a new pastoral center and a 30,000 sq. ft. children's education building.

Community outreach

With the recession of 2008, St. Jude Catholic Church formed a "Career Alliance" outreach to assist those who in the community who lost their jobs find meaningful employment. Volunteers in the parish offered their services to review resumes, teach interview skills, networking and the use of online tools. This was so well received at St. Jude that it was opened up to other parishes in the Diocese and rebranded as the "North Texas Catholic Career Development Community". Fourteen area churches joined with St. Jude in hosting an online jobs database. They hold weekly brownbag networking lunches, and monthly seminars with industry leaders as guest speakers.[5]

"CSI: St. Jude" is the Community Service Investigative team at St. Jude that reaches out to the community, discovering needs, and bringing them to the parish for assistance. In the past they have served Refuge Empowerment Services (a division of Catholic Charities); the Children's Advocacy Center, Hope's Door, My Friend's House, the White Rose Crisis Pregnancy Center, The Juliette Fowler Home, The Clyde W. Cooper Veteran's Home in Bonham, TX, Habitat for Humanity, and provide visitation to the nursing homes and rehab facilities in the area. They also hosted and facilitates health fairs to provide low cost immunizations for children. They sponsor the Title 1 elementary schools in Allen as well.

St. Jude provides an outreach ministry to the teens at Collin County Juvenille Detention Center in McKinney, Texas, housing between 95-110 youth, ages 11-17. St. Jude provides both worship services and life skills training, including resume and cover sheet generation, job interview techniques, financial planning, and career guidance.[6]

"12-Step Meetings" are offered each Saturday morning as a part of their Alcohol and Addiction Ministries.

Works of art

Allen native Andy Buchanan was commissioned to create to create his artistic interpretation of the renowned Giotto fresco, "Jesus Washes the Feet of the Apostles". This 120-square-foot (11 m2) mural is in the arch above the main doors to the church.[7] Buchanan was also commissioned to recreated the San Damiano Cross for the Chapel of the Blessed Mother Teresa at St. Jude.

Seattle artist Cody Harrington was commissioned to create 14 original works of art for the sanctuary known as the Stations of the Cross, or Via Dolorosa. The photo-realistic, pencil sketches were inspired on the 2004 Mel Gibson film, The Passion of the Christ. The stained glass in the flying roof and transepts are by Cavallini of San Antonio, Texas. The wood carved statues and crucifix are by Fernando Perathoner of Urtijëi, Italy.


In 1999, Father Tim Church was assigned Priest-in-Charge of St. Jude Catholic Church by Bishop Charles Grahmann. As a former Episcopal priest, Fr. Tim converted to Catholicism and was ordained a Catholic priest under the Pastoral Provision on February 18, 1995.

From 2002 through 2009, Fr. Antony Moonjanattu of the Syro Malabar Order in India served as Parochial Vicar. From 2009 through 2011, Fr. Peter Tuan Le was assigned to St. Jude as Parochial Vicar. From 2011, Fr. Eugene Okoli was assigned to St. Jude as Parochial Vicar.


  1. ^ "About Our Parish". St. Jude Catholic Church. Retrieved August 27, 2008. 
  2. ^ Keener, Tom (May 2008). "The Rodenbaughs". Allen Image. 
  3. ^ Trieb, Erin (November 19, 2005). "Unveiling a new sanctuary". The Dallas Morning News. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "North Texas Catholic Career Development Community". 
  6. ^ "A united front against drug abuse". The Dallas Morning News. July 8, 2006. 
  7. ^ "St. Jude Dedicates a Renaissance Interpretation of a Giotto Masterpiece". June 22, 2010. 

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