Established in the 18th century
First church around 1900
First pastor in 1977
The first Roman Catholic Church to serve Salisbury was called, ‘‘Our Lady of Ransom’’, located on Leaman Hill on the old Fredericton Road, approximately 5 kilometres from Salisbury. According to Mrs. Helen Constantine, the money used to build Our Lady of Ransom was donated by a cousin of Mr. Daniel O’Sullivan who lived in Boston, Massachussetts. From the date of its construction until 1919, the Church was under the care of Holy Ghost Parish, in Riverside, Albert County, because it was also an Irish settlement; moreover, a railway ran from Albert to Salisbury.
In 1919, Our Lady of Ransom was transferred to the care of the Sussex Mission, in the Diocese of Saint John. In 1930, its name was changed to Our Lady of Mercy.
Around 1950, Archbishop Norbert Robichaud, decided to take the parish of Our Lady of Mercy under his care and assigned this mission to Saint Bernard’s Parish in Moncton.
In 1963, when the Holy Family parish was created and separated from Saint Bernard’s, Father Angus MacDonald became its first parish priest. The church had no basement and was in dire need of repair. Since all the Irish families moved away from the area, it was decided that it would be much simpler to tear down the old church and relocate a new one at a better site. The Royal Canadian Legion wanted to sell its building in Salisbury and relocate elsewhere, so the parish made a bid on the building, and purchased it in 1963, for $8,000.00.
A great deal of work had to be done to this building. The pews in the new church came from Saint Bernard’s which was under renovation at the time. The stage was converted into an altar and a vestry was added. The new church was given a new name: Saint Jude, the patron saint of ‘‘Hopeless Causes’’. The first mass was celebrated in the church in Salisbury on October 6, 1963.
In the last twenty years, the Catholic population west of Moncton has increased dramatically and the facilities became inadequate. So, at a regular meeting of Saint Jude’s Adult Association (October 1984), it was decided that a committee would study the possibility of building a new church. This new church was officially opened at the end of 1985, and dedicated on April 27, 1986.