The St. Jude’s Catholic Church started in 1961 in the Deminsky’s garage and service station. “They cleaned it out, steam cleaned it, and they started their church there.” The church was started with 40 families. The first Mass was on September 10, 1961, with 200 people in the garage. Father Dempsey held this service.
Parish Council and Ladies Altar Society were voted on in 1961.
The people of the church went hard to work at fundraisers to build a church; they sold vanilla, made quilts, held dinners. They had fundraisers at the Chain Lake Resort and at the Kramschuster farm. And at the church “at first they used to serve these dinners out of the furnace room, there was no kitchen. There’s a sink in the furnace room, its still there, and these women would whip out food for hundreds of people.” In 1981 they made an annex for the church for dinners and additional space, and that is where they had their dinners and fundraisers.
They finally got enough money and built the church in 1964. The land was donated by J. Edward Erickson and Mrs. Robert Brekanan. On January 17, 1965 Father John Lempke held the first Mass in the new building. The first baptism was held on February 18, 1962 for Richard Lewis and his daughter Kathleen. The first wedding was Wilmer Kramschuster and Bernice Weyenberg, in 1962. The first funeral was for Norman Deminsky in 1965.
The church closed in February, 2003 for Mass, but it is still there, it “can have funerals and wedding and it’s used for other community events.”
“Its just been a common ordinary church where people go to church in blue jeans and hunters come from the woods in hunting clothes and you don’t have to dress up to go to church.”
Here’s a story about the church.
“When the church started it had a cement floor. There was no carpet and we have that saw tooth roof-it’s called-that leaked for years and years, and I don’t care what they did to it, it would leak. And, there were times when it was a good thing we had a cement floor because we’d sit back further because it was like raining between the altar and the people. So you had to sit back, then you had to go through the rain to get communion,”
All quotes in this section are from Mrs. Tremblay.
Information provided by:
St. Jude's Catholic Church 40th Anniversary pamphlet,
New Auburn Centennial Historical Album 1875-1975