New church holds relics of the Twelve Apostles


“Each of the Twelve is depicted at the base, carved in marble.” -Fr. James Hudgins, Pastor, St. Jude Catholic Church

July 12, 2018


FREDERICKSBURG, Va.  – After fifteen years of planning, the new St. Jude Catholic Church on Lee Hill School Drive in Fredericksburg is ready for worship. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, will celebrate the Rite Dedication on Saturday, July 14.


When:           Saturday, July 14, 5 p.m.

Where:         St. Jude Catholic Church, 3501 Lee Hill School Drive, Fredericksburg

After many years of prayer, sacrifice, and hard work, Fr. James Hudgins, Pastor of St. Jude, is thrilled with the new building. He says countless hundreds of people have sacrificed their time and savings to bring St. Jude from dream to reality. “Above all else, I am deeply grateful. For fifteen years, the people of St Jude have prayed, worked, and sacrificed to make this church a reality. I’m grateful to our parishioners for their patience, perseverance, and generosity, and I am grateful to God for his ceaseless care and providence.”

Architecture and Relics

St. Jude Church was designed in a cruciform, or cross shape, following the ancient practice of associating the floorplan of church buildings with the Body of Christ on the Cross.


 St. Jude Church


The architecture demonstrates principles of design that convey the sanctity of the Catholic rites, helping us build our spiritual relationship with God, our sense of community with our fellow Christians, and the feeling of sacredness. The building is imbued with symbolism from its grandest to most minute architectural details.

Four indoor statues depicting Jesus, Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Jude were hand-carved by master craftsmen in Austria. They are carved in lindenwood, full round, and antiqued with traditional colors and gilded accents.

“Our altar was designed to house the relics of the Twelve Apostles,” says Fr. Hudgins. “Each of the Twelve is depicted at the base, carved in marble,” he says. The cloistered sisters of the Church of Santa Lucia in Selci, who have the honor of caring for and distributing relics for the Diocese of Rome, have entrusted to St. Jude Church the sacred relic containing a sample of the bones of each of the twelve apostles. It will be visible to everyone through a small window in the rear of the altar.

Apostles within the relic at the altar

• Saint Peter
• Saint Jude Thaddeus
• Saint John
• Saint Matthew
• Saint Philip
• Saint Thomas
• Saint James, Son of Zebedee
• Saint James the Less
• Saint Andrew
• Saint Bartholomew
• Saint Simon
• Saint Matthias (in place of Judas Iscariot)

The drawing below is the altar. Behind the image of Jesus depicted in this drawing is a window with a shelf where the relics will be stored for anyone to see. The media may photograph the relics after the dedication Mass. The relics will be stored in this box on the back side of the altar.


St. Jude Altar



The architect for this project is James O’Brien of O’Brien and Keane Architecture. This award-winning firm is based in Arlington, VA and is prominently known for its timeless and traditional designs woven into many churches, schools, and sacred spaces through the Commonwealth. 

For more information about the new church, e.g., crucifix, statutes, rose window, the cornerstone, stations of the cross, etc., see the dedication ceremony program attached.


The following is a chronology of notable dates in the history of the parish of St. Jude Catholic Church:

2003:                        Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, forms St. Jude as a mission of the St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception; Fr. David Martin is Parochial Administrator.

September, 2003:      The first Mass is held in Covenant Funeral Home

November, 2003:       St. Jude moves to 10800B Courthouse Road

2005:                        The Diocese of Arlington purchases 25 acres of land, with a portion designated for the building of St. Jude Church

Fall, 2010:                 Fundraising begins for new church

December, 2010:       St. Jude moves to 10725 Courthouse Road

June, 2011:               Bishop Loverde names Reverend James Hudgins Pastor of St. Jude

October 9, 2016:       Official groundbreaking ceremony

July 14, 2018:           Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, dedicates the new St. Jude Church