History and Beliefs
Saint Jude Shrine preserves the True Catholic Religion...
...that which is undefiled by the notorious errors of Vatican II, such as religious indifferentism and modernism, called "the synthesis of all heresies," by Saint Pope Pius X. The forced exile of the rightful Pope and correlating introduction of a false religion led by Christ-denying Antipopes can be read about on our Papacy page.
Saint Jude Shrine is located at 3103 North Main Street, in Stafford, Texas, near Houston. Since 1975, it has been supported by the lay foundation known as Traditional Catholics of Houston, Inc. (TCOH), which was duly incorporated as a Texas nonprofit organization in 1974. Saint Jude’s church building was constructed in 1948 and was formerly known as Holy Family Catholic Mission. It was consecrated on 4 April 1949 by Most Reverend Christopher Byrne, Bishop of Galveston, and was operated for 25 years by the Order of Saint Basil. In 1974, the Basilian Fathers vacated the premises in favor of a larger facility, and in 1975, the diocese put the property up for sale while offering to lease it to a Lutheran congregation. But when presented with a bona fide purchase contract, the diocese quickly sold the mission church, plus its adjacent school auditorium and surrounding land to a real estate developer who then facilitated the rescue of the consecrated building by deeding it to TCOH.
For months, the lay people of TCOH had invoked the intercession of Saint Jude Thaddeus, the patron of desperate cases, to assist their efforts in acquiring the church. Finally, at the end of October 1975, their prayers were answered. Since the former owners of the church moved to new quarters only a short distance away, while retaining the name “Holy Family Catholic Church,” it was necessary for the mission’s new custodians to give it a new name, and “Saint Jude Shrine,” was unanimously chosen by them in appreciation for its acquisition through the intervention of the “Saint of the Impossible.” However, even three years prior to its procurement of the Stafford church, TCOH had been independently sponsoring Catholic worship in and around the greater Houston area at temporary locations.
To date, 58 senior Catholic clergymen from the Americas, Asia, and Europe have come on pilgrimage to Saint Jude Shrine to assist its faithful by offering the ancient and Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.
The purpose of TCOH has always been and continues to be the preservation of the authentic Roman liturgy of the Catholic Church, known as the Tridentine Latin Mass, as it was mandated for all time in 1570 by Pope Saint Pius V, without alteration or attenuation whatsoever.
With the death of Pope Pius XII and the overthrow of Catholic worship, doctrine, and practice that occurred in the wake of his passing, associations of Catholic laypeople, such as TCOH, and like-minded senior Catholic clergy around the world have banded together to preserve what they can of the Church’s 2000-year spiritual legacy until such time that a truly Catholic Pontiff regains control of the Chair of Peter and, from the commanding heights of the Church’s visible structures in Rome, is able to “restore all things in Christ.”*
Until that glorious day is upon us, Saint Jude Shrine will continue to function, as long as Almighty God allows, in compliance with the spirit and the letter of Canon Law.
*(NOTE: Read more about the present crisis in the Church on our Papacy page.)
A Grave Crisis of Accessibility to Sacraments Worldwide*
Because the Sacraments of the Church are no longer available in any of our local parish churches from authentic, lawful Catholic clergy and without unacceptable modifications or doubtful validity, Saint Jude Shrine may well be all that is left of the Diocese of Galveston (today known as the “Diocese of Galveston-Houston”), for, as previously mentioned, the Saint Jude's church building was consecrated by a true Catholic Bishop in 1949.
Regarding the Sacraments: Due to the present scarcity of valid and lawful Catholic clergy, great latitude is granted to the laity when seeking the Sacraments. In any serious need, the faithful are guaranteed the right to request the Sacraments from any valid and lawful Catholic priest, except those under a public condemnatory sentence, as per Canons 1098, 2261, and 2284. However, if the priest is of the Roman rite, in most instances he would need to have been ordained prior to July 1968. If he is a Catholic priest from one of the Eastern Uniate rites, his orders would be presumed valid if his ordaining bishop used the ordination formula handed down by the Eastern Fathers of the Church from Apostolic times. Fortunately, the great majority of Eastern Catholic Bishops have resisted the pressure brought to bear against them by the conciliar church to change their Sacraments.
The authorization for lay custodianship of rescued Catholic churches under the present tumultuous circumstances of near-universal apostasy, and when no valid local bishop is present, is at least implied by The Catholic Dictionary . . . and Popular Encyclopedia of Religious Information, by Fathers William Addis and Thomas Arnold (1896), page 402:
“... In a wide and loose sense, when the Catholic Church is considered as existing in the midst of heretics, schismatics, and the heathen, even the laity may be considered as forming a portion of the hierarchy.”
In cases of danger of death when no Catholic priest is available, the faithful may request the Last Sacraments from a schismatic Greek, Russian, or other Orthodox priest with valid orders. In such cases the Catholic Church automatically supplies the jurisdiction to the schismatic priest to administer the Sacraments to the faithful, but again, only in times when a Catholic in need is in real danger of dying without the Sacraments due to the unavailability of a valid Catholic priest nearby.
*(NOTE: Read more about the present crisis in the Church on our Papacy page.)
A Worldwide Audience
After decades of operation as a center for the Traditional Latin Mass, Saint Jude Shrine has taken on a new mission that has become international and worldwide. There is hardly a Sunday when there are not out-of-town visitors, oftentimes including pilgrims from out of state or even from a different country. To accommodate Saint Jude’s “extended congregation,” its Masses on Sundays and Holy Days are now “web-cast” via livestream to a global audience. Archived recordings of those Masses, going back over one year, are also available for viewing on-demand, for free. A link to those video services is included on the livestream page.
Although it must be admitted that simply viewing a Mass electronically, even in real time, does not take the place of physical attendance at the Holy Sacrifice, it at least provides the opportunity for those, separated from places of true Catholic worship by great distances, to pray (albeit at a distance) with one of the last outposts of the still above-ground remnant Catholic Church, to hear the Gospel preached by a true Catholic priest and to be assisted in making a worthy spiritual Communion.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Saint Jude’s is the manner in which it very closely resembles the typical neighborhood Catholic parish church that one might have encountered in 1955. This has only been possible because our lay custodians and the senior clergy that offer Mass at Saint Jude’s are all old enough to remember the Catholic Church when it WAS the Church.
If you are fortunate enough to visit Saint Jude Shrine in the foreseeable future, we are certain that once inside its doors, you will sense the Real Presence of God and feel transported back in time to an age that existed in relative tranquility before the destructive revolution against both civil and ecclesiastical order, which has brought the world and the Church to the frightful state that exists today.
Nevertheless, Saint Jude Shrine’s custodians ask for your prayers in the colossal effort to continue the work of the shrine for many years to come in the preservation of the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is Heaven’s most powerful weapon for peace that has ever existed in the world.
Saint Jude's Retrospective: Looking Back
The video presentation below, “Saint Jude’s Retrospective,” is a collection of 11 soundbytes, from 11 individual sermons, delivered by 11 different Catholic Priests from Saint Jude’s pulpit, during a period spanning approximately 11 years (1981-1992). The program includes pictorial elements and audio recordings from 1974 to 2001 at the beginning and the conclusion of the video, serving as bookends for this highly abbreviated visual history of Saint Jude Shrine. By current standards, this crudely-edited compilation of low-resolution VHS videotapes now seems very primitive. But the stirring messages conveyed by these 11 ordained ministers of the Holy Sacrifice to our congregation during that by-gone era are no less powerful when heard today. Total running time of this presentation is 1 hour, three minutes, and 37 seconds.
Join Us in Preserving Christendom
If you are interested in learning more about how you can become more involved with our church in its mission of serving God and neighbor as well as preserving the Traditional Latin Mass for future generations, go to our Lay Associations page.
If you are interested in learning more about the present crisis facing the Church today, click on our Papacy page.
To contact Saint Jude Shrine, please visit the Contact Us page.
You may also make a voluntary contribution by visiting our Contributions page. All contributions are tax-deductible.
And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.