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St . Jude Chapel
24 Year Dream
The Rev. James Khoury, left, assistant pastor at St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church and Elias Joseph stand at the entrance of St. Jude’s Shrine here. Its
completion and dedication today marks the fruition of dreams shared by Joseph and the late Rev. Joseph E. Awad 24 years ago.
(Sentinel Photo by Dick Maxwell)
MORNING SENTINEL Saturday, May 21, 1977
Dedication of St. Jude’s
Chapel Culmination of 24 – year Dream
By Clayton LaVerdiere
A dream that had its beginnings in 1953 will at last be realized today with the formal dedication of St. Jude’s Chapel at St. Joseph’s Maronite Church.
The attractive brick chapel with its hand-carved statue of St. Jude, its stained glass windows, and pews accommodating 24 worshipers will be blessed by the Most Rev. Francis M. Zayek of Detroit, Michigan, bishop of the Diocese of St. Maron for the United Stares.
For parishioners of St. Joseph’s, the ceremony will be a special feature of a celebration this weekend which marks the 50th anniversary of the Waterville parish.
And for Elias A. Joseph, members of the Joseph family and others, this day will be the culmination of the idea that was born 24 ears ago in New York City.
It was there that Elias Joseph, accompanying the Rev. Joseph E. Awad – then pastor of St. Joseph’s – visited a church in the bustling metropolis.
The two men were impressed with a small chapel that adjoined the church, which provided an easily accessible spiritual haven for pedestrians seeking a few moments of prayer.
The idea was born.
The First step came with official permission form Most Rev. Daniel J. Feeny, then bishop of the Maine diocese, to build such a facility.
The choice of a name for the chapel was not difficult, Joseph had been seriously ill in 1945 and had prayed to St. Jude to
speed his recovery. From that time on he had always been partial to St. Jude, who was a cousin and close friend of Christ.
Joseph eventually visited California and met Danny Thomas, the nationally famous entertainer who was spearheading a campaign to build St Jude’s Hospital for the treatment of children’s diseases. Thomas encouraged the chapel idea but said his fun-rising efforts were committed to the hospital project.
In 1955, Fr. Awad died, but Joseph clung to the dream of a St. Jude’s Chapel. When his own son, Darrell Joseph died in 1958
age of 28, the Joseph family
decided to give added impetus to the chapel campaign.
It was in 1965, however, that the Joseph family, relatives and friends gave a definite financial boost to the effort. The outer shell was completed; a six-foot
wooden statue, hand-carved in Italy, was purchased.
The structure was not completed for some years. But the Rev. Paul E. Coury, pastor, and the Rev. James Khoury, assistant
pastor, encouraged further efforts. Parishioners donated stained glass windows carpeting and interior décor.
Finally a gift in the estate of the late Mrs. Edmund Mary Barton enabled the completion of the attractive chapel.
The facility, with its entrance on Appleton Street, will bear a plaque sating: “This Chapel is dedicated to St. Jude in memory of the Rev. Joseph E. Awad and Darrell l. Joseph and their family and friends.”
Terming it “a dream come true, “ Elias Joseph said this week; “My biggest regret is that Fr. Awad is not here also to realize the dream that he initiated”