In the beginning, there was no St. Jude the Apostle Parish but, on July 1, 1970, Father Thomas O'Connell and 135 families officially founded one. The task was formidable.
The first requirement was to find a place to celebrate Mass. Father O' Connell had a small chapel in his home across from White Oak School, First Neighborhood, Westlake Village. That is were Mass was said. The chapel also accommodated C.C.D. classes, high school student meetings and the Wednesday evening Novena to St. Jude. Sister Isabel Ann was director of the C.C.D. program at the time. Sunday Mass was celebrated at the First Neighborhood Center at 8:30 a.m. It was not long before Father O'Connell and his parishioners were planning, raising money for, and completing a building of their own.
The first building was on the church grounds, the multipurpose building or Parish Hall, was named in honor of St. Jude Parish's founding father. It was completed in 1971. The building housed a sanctuary for Sunday Mass and various other rooms with moveable walls for religious education, kitchen and offices. In 1974, two outside classrooms were added and the parking lot was enlarged. Once the multi-purpose building was completed, it was time to move forward and build the rectory. In 1975, Father O'Connell moved from the little house on Village School Road. As time passed and the parish grew, it became necessary to build the permanent church. The members of the parish went to work again to plan and raise money for the project.
In 1979, plans were drawn up for the permanent church, which became a reality in 1981. Father O'Connell and his dedicated parishioners celebrated the first Mass in the church they built together on Mother's Day, 1981. The consecration and dedication were celebrated in November 1981, with Cardinal Timothy Manning, Archbishop of Los Angeles officiating.
The next historic event at St. Jude's was the opening of the school on September 7, 1982. In May 1984, we had the groundbreaking ceremonies for the new school buildings. Construction started in August 1984 and the buildings were occupied for the 1985-86 school year.
The history of St. Jude's parish from the day it was founded until the present time is one replete with dedicated people giving their time, money and themselves to create the happy, loving parish and school we know today.
There is still much growth and hard work to be done and the accomplishments of the original parishioners will remain an inspirational example to follow.