St. Jude parishioners look forward to new church

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After a week of impending rain from Hurricane Matthew, the sun shone brightly Oct. 9 just in time for the surprise groundbreaking of St. Jude Church in Fredericksburg. Father James C. Hudgins, pastor, announced the news after all the weekend Masses, inviting parishioners to come out to the 25-acre lot for the long-awaited ceremony. 

The parish received final approval last week to move forward with construction of the church, and had to move quickly to do the ceremony before Father Hudgins and several parishioners left for a two-week pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

“It is the fulfillment of a dream that came when the parish was founded 13 years ago, a place that will make the parish grow exponentially and the sign that this parish is established and secure as it was founded to be."

“We are fortunate to have a staff that can throw a party for 200 people with just 48 hours notice,” said Helen Huff, business manager.

Visitors and longtime parishioners alike made their way through the newly paved entrance and parking lot to the new church site off Lee School Drive. At one end of the field a wooden cross marked the spot where the church’s altar will be. After a blessing and procession with the Knights of Columbus, Father Hudgins donned a hard hat and joined church leaders to shovel the first clumps of earth. He then invited parishioners young and old to come forward and help out. For parishioners who have been there since the beginning, the experience was a dream come true. 

“We were excited about beginning a new parish that was family oriented,” said Christy. “We never felt like we were disturbing anyone.” The family is excited by the possibility of their youngest son, Elijah, being confirmed in the new church. 

The Bolich family is one of many dedicated parish families who have worked tirelessly to raise money for the new church. Now after two capital campaigns and countless bake sales and raffles, their wait is almost over. The hope is that in just two years St. Jude Church will go from being in a garage to a beautiful cross-shaped English style church, which will seat more than 700 people. 

Father Hudgins is excited, but more grateful than anything. “It is the fulfillment of a dream that came when the parish was founded 13 years ago, a place that will make the parish grow exponentially and the sign that this parish is established and secure as it was founded to be,” he said.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016