The Middle Years
The first class of ten seniors graduated from St. Jude High School in 1962. The Sisters of St. Mary formed the core of the faculty during the years of growth, teaching both academic and religious education classes.
By December 1963, the remodeling of the interior of the church was finished. Also, a new wing on the high school, construction of the boarding school, landscaping of the grounds and the outdoor shrine of St. Jude were completed while Fr. Randall, OMI was pastor.
In 1964, a boarding school was opened for young ladies who attended the high school. The boarding school created a home for the girls and promoted their intellectual and spiritual growth.
In 1966, a nursery for infants and young children opened in the "Red Building" located in the rear of the property. In addition to the nursery, the parish also operated a thrift shop in the building, to which clothing and shoes were sent from benefactors from all over the United States.
In 1968, the diocese reorganized the educational system by relocating grades one through six to St. Anne's School. St. Jude retained the seventh and eighth grades and the high school. The sisters extended their work beyond the day students to prepare public school teachers for the NTE and conduct weekly scriptural reading at the homes of the elderly and the sick of the parish.
In 1969, the nursery school was transformed into a preschool when the responsive environment concept for educating preschool children was introduced. In 1973, Follow-Through was applied by opening grades 1, 2, and 3. Finally, grades 4, 5 and 6 were added from 1983 until 1985, one grade each year.
In 1971, the state Dept. of Mental Retardation asked St. Jude to sponsor a program for mentally and physically handicapped children from the neighborhood. From modest beginnings under Fr. Atkinson, the endeavor became known as the Sumter Developmental Learning Center and evolved into a program that also trains mentally disabled adults. It is now incorporated by the state.
In 1984, the diocese purchased the old Lincoln High School building on Council Street. After much refurbishing by students and parents, the St. Jude Central High School opened to students in August 1984 with Sr. Carol Ann Kleindinst as the first principal. As student enrollment increased, the lay faculty was expanded to augment the teaching sisters and provide a diverse curriculum.
Through the late 1980s, the St. Jude High School improved its academic credentials and formed a basketball team named the Padres. In 1994, the high school was renamed the Sumter Catholic High School and served the Catholic families of three counties. When diocesan funding ended in 1997, the SCHS became a private Catholic high school and relocated to School Street.
With its many programs, the management of St. Jude's responsibilities became challenging and demanding. Accordingly, in 1979, the number of religious on the staff of the parish and the school had increased to three priests, an Oblate brother and ten sisters. Some forty years after its founding, many believed that St. Jude, Saint of the Impossible, was active in the care and support of the parish.
..."We are only the earthenware vessels that hold this treasure,
to make it clear that the increase comes from God and not from us."
St. Paul

The Early YearsThe PresentDedication

Home Page