St. Jerome Parish
Saint Jerome Church is named for the fifth century priest who translated the Bible from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek into Latin. The prayers of this great Saint and biblical scholar have guided the people of St. Jerome Church from the earliest years.
On May 6, 1949, Archbishop J. Francis Mclntyre named Msgr. Thomas McNicholas first pastor of the new St. Jerome Parish. The beginnings of our parish were humble, with Mass being offered in the La Tijera Theater until a church could be completed in 1950. Msgr. McNicholas was associated with the Holy Name Union for twenty-five years and was also principal of Bishop Conaty High School for ten years. At the invitation of Msgr. McNicholas, two Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet responded to teach catechism classes to the parish children. The new St. Jerome School was opened in 1952, with direction entrusted to the Sisters of St. Joseph, inaugurating a lasting relationship with these dedicated Women Religious and educators.
Amazing growth during the 1950's and 1960's necessitated a new church being built in 1966. The original church building built for the Westchester area was eventually used for the school auditorium. The new church’s distincitve modern design followed guidelines of the Second Vatican Council. The structure is a 16-sided church that draws the assembly closer to the altar. Msgr. McNicholas, however, died tragically in 1966 just before the church was nearing completion. Father Michael Walsh was named the second pastor, followed by Father Edmund Maechler who served as pastor for fourteen years. Father James Kavanagh, from Ireland , served from 1988 to 2002 and during that time the church experienced the earthquake of 1994 that closed the building for six months.
St. Jerome parishioners, from the parish’s earliest times to the present day, continue to generously respond to the call of the Vatican Council to assume roles of leadership in lay ministry. Today the church is a vibrant, multicultural parish community serving 2000 parish families. The diverse community includes African-Americans, Anglo, Latino, Nigerian, and Asian peoples. The current pastor is Reverend Norman Priebe.
In September 2009 St. Jerome Church celebrated its 60th Anniversary. We are deeply grateful to the original families of the parish for their generosity and sacrifice to provide the facilities that have sustained the community over the years. St. Jerome Church is building upon that legacy with a capital campaign now underway to refurbish some of our facilities in order to meet the needs of our parishioners and ministries well into the 21st century. We also hope to strengthen our ministry with youth and the young adult community, and become an ever more welcoming community of faith. Our Sunday celebration of the Eucharist is the central moment in our parish life, and from our liturgy we want to go forth to bear witness to Christ with an active faith and through works of peace and justice.
May God bless us all,
Rev. Msgr. Norman Priebe Pastor.