Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Marlene Quaroni - Florida Catholic
FORT LAUDERDALE — St. Jerome parishioners kicked off the celebration of their 50th anniversary year with the dedication of a newly-bronzed statue of St. Jerome which once stood inside the church.
“We placed the statue in front of the church so that those passing by could see it,” said Father Michael Davis, parochial administrator. “We have reached a great milestone. Father (Raymond) Schully, the original pastor, never could have imagined how we’ve grown. We now have Masses in English, Spanish, Chinese and a Syro-Malabar rite Mass. There is great diversity at St. Jerome Church.”
On Nov. 10, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of St. Jerome as a mission of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Fort Lauderdale, Auxiliary Bishop John Noonan led an evening candlelight procession from the altar to the front entrance of the church where parishioners unveiled the St. Jerome statue before the bishop blessed it.
During a solemn evening prayer ceremony, the bishop told parishioners that this was a time to reflect and remember those special moments in the life of their parish. Times like the special novena to St. Jude in which parishioners sought help in finding religious teachers for St. Jerome School.
“Their prayers were answered when the (Sisters) of St. Philip Neri were expelled from Cuba in the early 1960s,” said the bishop. “The sisters came to St. Jerome to serve as teachers. They’ve been here ever since. Thanks to their love and dedication. And a special thank you to Sister Ana Maria (Campos) who turned 100 years old recently.”
This golden jubilee is a time to reflect on all the ceremonies that have taken place at St. Jerome Church.
“You recall baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and the times you’ve said good-bye to loved ones in this church,” Bishop Noonan said.
At the vespers ceremony, Father Davis and Bishop Noonan gave out awards to seven parishioners for their service to St. Jerome Church. A series of events will take place throughout the year culminating in December 2011, exactly 50 years after the community celebrated its first Mass.