Father Thomas Shoemaker - Seventh Pastor
I grew up in Gas City, which is an hour
south of here on Interstate 69. As a youngster, I decided that I wanted to be a dentist
and I pursued that dream. I finished the degree and was licensed as a dentist in 1983. I
practiced dentistry for a year at the V.A. Hospital in Indianapolis and for a year in an
office in Kendallville.
At age 27, I began to question the direction of my life and wondered if God might have
other plans for me. After some time spent in prayer and talking to others, I decided to
enter the seminary and see if God might be calling me to priesthood.
I attended St. Johns Seminary in Boston, where I became convinced that priesthood
was part of Gods plan for me. After four more years of study and a year as a deacon,
I was ordained a priest in November of 1990.
My first assignment was St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend. There I spent 8 years,
most of that time serving with Bishop Sheets, our auxiliary bishop. In 1998, I was made a
pastor at Saint Henrys in Fort Wayne. Three months later, I was asked to also serve
as a pastor at Sacred Heart in Fort Wayne. For the past three years I have been honored to
be a part of those parishes and their school, Benoit Academy.
In July, 2001, I began my assignment at St. Judes. This is the largest parish I
have known, and I follow a very gifted pastor here. Despite the challenges, I am excited
about the friendliness and great organization I have found here and, more importantly, the
beautiful spirit of prayer and service.
Father William Schooler - Sixth Pastor
Schooler was born on July 27, 1948. He attended high school at Wawasee Prep,
graduating in 1966. Father Bill earned a BA in English Literature in 1970 from Saint
Gregory Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio. He prepared for the priesthood at Mt. St. Mary's
Seminary, Cincinnati, receiving his MA in Theology in 1974. Father Schooler was
ordained at St. Jude on May 25, 1974.
Previous assignments include:
St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend, Associate
St. Monica, Mishawaka, Associate Pastor.
Marian High School, Mishawaka, Teacher,
Chaplain, Head of Theology Department.
St. Paul of the Cross, Columbia City, Pastor.
In July 1988, Father Schooler was appointed the sixth
Pastor of Saint Jude, succeeding Father Pfister.
In July 2001, Father Schooler was appointed the Pastor of St. Pius X, Granger, Indiana.
Father John Pfister - Fifth Pastor
1980, Fr. Pfister became the fifth pastor of Saint Jude Parish. In 1988, Fr. Pfister was transferred to Saint Mary of the
Assumption, South Bend. He currently serves as pastor of Queen of Angels Parish in
Father Donald Isenbarger - Fourth Pastor
Born at New Haven, IN. Attended St. Johns grade school, New
Haven. Ordained by Bishop Pursley May 3, 1955 and assigned to high school and college
students and Boy Scouts. In 1963 he became a charter member of the new Bishop Dwenger High
School faculty, and in 1969 became principal at Central Catholic High School, Ft. Wayne.
In 1969 he was named pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, North Manchester, and in 1975
became pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Garrett, IN. He became Pastor of St. Jude Parish in
June, 1978 and served as pastor until 1980, when
Father John Pfister succeeded him.
Monsignor William J. Lester - Third Pastor
Gary, IN on Nov. 26, 1919. Attended Holy Angels grade school, Gary. Prepared for the
priesthood at St. Lawrence College, Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin, and Theological College,
Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Ordained on Aug. 24, 1945 by Bishop Noll.
Assistant at St. Mary Church, Huntington from 1945 to 1947 when he was named principal of
Huntington Catholic High School. In 1951 appointed principal of Central Catholic High
School, Ft. Wayne. On March 1, 1957 appointed superintendent of schools, also retaining
position as principal of CCHS. On May 31, 1960 was invested as Papal Chamberlain. On July
1, 1970 appointed pastor of St. Judes where he served until assigned pastor of St.
Thomas the Apostle parish, Elkhart, IN.
Monsignor Charles F. Girardot - Second Pastor
Born in Fort Wayne on September, 1894. Attended Cathedral Grade
School and Central Catholic High School. Pursued Ecclesiastical Studies at St.
Meinrads Seminary. Ordained at St. Meinrad Archabbey Church on November 13, 1918 by
Bishop Chartrand of Indianapolis. Appointed assistant at St. Marys, Michigan City on
November 30, 1918, serving at the same time as chaplain at St. Anthonys Hospital,
and at the Indiana State Prison until January 29, 1926. Pastor of St. Josephs,
Bluffton from January 29, 1926 to April 12, 1929. Pastor of St. Josephs, Fort Wayne,
from April 12, 1929 to November 13, 1946 when he became pastor of St. Jude Church.
Monsignor served our parish until his retirement July 1, 1970. During these years he was
invested as Papal Chamberlain Nov. 26, 1950; and Domestic Prelate June 1, 1964. Msgr. Girardot continued to live in the neighborhood until his
death on January 29, 1974, ending 55 years of priesthood.
Monsignor John A. Dapp - First Pastor
Summit (Waterloo) on February 5, 1892. Pursued Ecclesiastical Studies at Mount Calvary,
Wisconsin, and St. Meinrads Seminary. Ordained by Bishop Alerding on June 16, 1916.
Assistant at St. Peters, Fort Wayne from June, 1916 to June, 1922. Assistant at the
Cathedral until July 1, 1927. Pastor of St. Joan of Arc, Kokomo until April 12, 1929 when
he became the first pastor of St. Jude Parish, Fort Wayne. Appointed Rector of the
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on November 13, 1946 where he served until his
death Feb. 28, 1956.