Meet the Parish Staff

Fr. Jake Runyon, Pastor

Father Jake’s blog

“I am the oldest of 11 children.  I was born and raised in the Fort Wayne area.  In fact, I was baptized at St. Jude parish, so this is like a homecoming.  I grew up in the parish of St. Louis Besancon just east of New Haven.  I went to Heritage High School.  After high school, I was a manager at Wendy’s in Decatur for a couple of years.  I then worked at my uncle’s paintball gun company called Tippmann Pneumatics (yes I’m one of the Tippmann family).

Several years ago now, my brother-in-law asked me to be his baptismal sponsor for the RCIA program.  As a result of going to the classes every week with him, I started wondering about my life’s vocation.  The more I thought and prayed about what God wanted me to do, the more I thought I should become a priest.  I finally ended up talking to the diocese and Bishop D’Arcy, and I entered the seminary in 2001.  I spent 2 years in Boston, 2 years in Minnesota, and 4 years in Columbus OH.  I was ordained a priest on October 31, 2009.  For the past 4 years I have been the associate pastor at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in South Bend and the chaplain of Marian High School in Mishawaka.

This will be my first experience being a pastor, so I hope you are patient with me.  But, I cannot tell you how excited I was to hear the Bishop say he wanted to send me to St. Jude.  During my seminary years, I spent many hours in the adoration chapel with Ed Dahm.  I attended many of the 6:15 masses before work.  I would often make use of the sacrament of confession at St. Jude as well.  All of these things made me who I am today. How blessed I am to be returning to a spiritual home.

I know many people will want to know about my likes and interests.  I play guitar (electric and acoustic, Van Halen, Dave Matthews Band, stuff like that).  I love to play golf, ride my bike, play basketball and racquetball.  I look forward to spending more time with my family, now that I will be closer.  I like to cook and eat.  But most of all, I’m a follower of Jesus.  I think time spent hearing confessions, saying Mass, teaching, and all the other duties of the priesthood are the most important activities in my life.

Fr. Bob and I have been friends for years, so I’m looking forward to working with him.  Also, as a seminarian and priest, I have always looked up to the amazing example of Fr. Tom.  I want to thank him for all his help and guidance over the years.

God bless you all,   Father Jake”


Fr. Robert D'Souza, Associate Pastor

staff_FrBobDSouzaFr. Robert D’Souza has been assigned to St. Jude Parish and Parkview Hospital since August, 1997. Ordained in India in 1973, he received his degrees in theology and philosophy from the Papal Athenium in Pane, India. In India he was involved in pastoral ministry, school and diocesan administration, and served as the Director of Boys Town in Calcutta. Since coming to the states at the invitation of Bishop John D’Arcy, he has been actively involved as a Catholic chaplain at Parkview Hospital and in assisting the Pastor with various sacramental duties. He was incardinated in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend on February 2, 2000.

Fr. Robert Garrow, Associate Pastor

Fr. Bob Garrow was ordained in June, 2016 and assigned to St. Jude Parish in Fort Wayne. He also serves as the Priest Chaplain at Bishop Dwenger Catholic High School and as assistant spiritual director for The World Apostolate of Fatima FWSB division. He holds a Masters of Divinity degree and a Masters in Church History from Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburgh, MD). Prior to ordination, Fr. Garrow was a school teacher for 11 years teaching seventh through twelfth grade. Fr. Garrow has a love for the liturgy and church history, especially diocesan history. Some of his favorite saints are Peter, Paul, Therese of Lisieux, John of the Cross, Augustine, Brother Andre, and Thomas Aquinas. Some of his favorite past times include reading books by Pope Benedict XVI, and enjoying his insights into our faith, watching sports, especially cheering on The University of Notre Dame. Indiana University, the Chicago Cubs, and traveling.

Jim Tighe, Deacon & RCIA Director
Deacon Jim Tighe and his wife, Pat, have been St. Jude parishoners for 24 years. He was ordained in 2011. Deacon Jim also works for Redeemer Radio.

Mary Pohlman, Pastoral Associate
Mary Pohlman has been serving St. Jude since 1978, when she began teaching in the parish grade school. Later, she coordinated the Young Adult Group. In 1990, she became the full time Pastoral Associate. Mary works with parish volunteers in our ministry to the sick and homebound, especially through the Social Action Committee and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She helps guide the educational and spiritual life of parishioners though the Adult Education Committee and yearly Lenten series. Mary coordinates all our liturgical ministers, works with children’s liturgies for the school, and meets with families to prepare funeral liturgies. She also gains much satisfaction in leading our “Re-Member’s”, those Catholics who are returning to the Church.

Heather Cisz, Communication & Stewardship
Heather Cisz has been a member of the Parish since she was confirmed in 1999. She has worked at St. Jude since 2004. She is responsible for marketing and public relations, stewardship events,  alumni relations, editing of publications and Social Media (including The Grapevine, the annual directory, the parish web site, the school website, Facebook, the Parish App, the Alumni newsletter and stewardship mailings), assisting with grant writing, chairing the Development, Marketing, Stewardship, Communications & Welcoming Committees as well as serving on the  School Board. She works with both parish and school staff to develop a plan to spread the message of Saint Jude parish and ensure its continuance for generations to come.

Vickie Lortie, Youth Minister 

Vickie began as the Youth Ministry Coordinator in July of 2014.  Prior to working at St. Jude, she taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Religion and science at St. Therese School for 16 years.  She was also the 8th grade homeroom teacher.  While there, she was involved in Confirmation prep and retreats, Family Group Coordinator, class trip planner, tutoring, Disciples in Mission, and completed the Education for Ministry Program.  Her lifelong home parish is St. Louis, Besancon.  She has been very involve there working on the fundraising for the Parish Restoration Project, ARISE core team, Silent Auction co-chair, and adult education committee.

Through prayerful vocation discernment, Vickie left teaching to pursue youth ministry.  She looks forward to the challenges and rewards of youth ministry, as well as, getting to know so many new faces here at St. Jude.  She coordinates many events each month for both high school teens (HYPE) as well as middle school teens (CHAOS).

John Offerle, Business Manager
John Offerle has been a member of St. Jude Parish his whole life and is an alumnus of St. Jude Catholic School. He has been involved with a number of parish ministries throughout his years here, especially in youth ministry. In fact, he was the Youth Ministry Coordinator for 10 years from 1991-2001. He left that position and was a Pastoral Care Associate at St. Anne Home for almost 5 years before returning to work at St. Jude in July of 2006 as the Business Manager. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business side of the Parish and School, including budgeting, accounting, and facilities management. He chairs the Finance Committee and the Building and Grounds Committee.

Mary Harness, Parish Office
Mary Harness, a parishioner since 1979, began maintaining the records in the parish on a full time basis in the summer of 2000. Prior to that, she had been working on them since 1989 on a part time basis, along with being a part time secretary at St. Jude School. Her job entails monitoring the constantly changing membership lists keeping computer records up to date. Mary also posts all weekly contributions and handles the reporting to parishioners. She coordinates the distribution of holiday food baskets and the Giving Tree at Christmas.

Tera Hogan, Administrative Assistant
Tera is the Administrative Assistant. She began this role in 2013. Her duties are to assist parish staff and parishioners, record keeping and putting together the weekly parish bulletin.  She has been a member of St. Jude since 2009 and is married with five children all attending St. Jude school.

Mike Crick, Maintenance Supervisor
” I started Sept. 12th  as head of maintenance. I had been working at the church part time as the hall manager for the church, which I am currently still doing part time. I worked for almost 20 years at Tim Didier meats as a manager. I feel that the opportunity that Tim gave me was a step in my process of getting me to where God had wanted me all along. Which is to take care of this wonderful parish and school. I feel honored and blessed to have this job. It is my mission to get the school looking like it did when it was new. I have been married to my wife Kathleen for 25 years and we have 2 children Alex and Anna.”

St. Jude Catholic Church
2130 Pemberton Drive
Ft. Wayne, IN 46805
(260) 484-6609

St. Jude Catholic School
2110 Pemberton Drive
Ft. Wayne, IN 46805
(260) 484-4611

Parish Office Hours
8 am - 4 pm Mon-Fri

Music Ministry
(260) 484-6609