Our HistorySt. Jude Church
More than 500 households
Claudius Barthelme was the first recorded Catholic in Derby, arriving here in 1760. Exiled French Canadians began immigrating several years later. A few more Catholic immigrants followed. However, by 1880 large numbers of Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famines arrived in the United States. Catholics of East Derby had been served by circuit priests from New Haven and Waterbury, including the well traveled Father James Smyth. Later, they began to attend St. Mary Church, Derby, which was the mother parish for more than a century.
On September 24, 1961, Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien appointed Father Robert G. Keating founding pastor of St. Jude in East Derby. The Marcucio family, members of the St. Mary community until that time, had sold the new parish a 16-acre tract atop Sentinel Hill. A garage on the property was soon renovated for use as a daily chapel. Four days later the first Sunday Mass was celebrated at the Bradley School. Groundbreaking for a new church occurred on May 20 in a ceremony conducted by the pastor and Monsignor John H. Quinn of St. Mary. On May 4, 1963, Archbishop O'Brien dedicated St. Jude Church.
Thanks to Ed Brickett, his wife Mary Brickett, and Menís Club Historian William J. Ogle, who served as menís club historian in the 60s, we have a wonderful pictorial history, complete with articles from local news papers. We are in the process of providing this history in its entirety here. We thank Mr. and Mrs. Brickett and Mr. Ogle for their service to their Church, and dedicate this history page to them. Check back often as there are many pages, articles, and booklets that will be reproduced on this page.