Archbishop Joseph Hurley of the St Augustine Diocese (the only Florida Diocese at the time) created Holy Name Of Jesus Parish on March 24, 1954. The first pastor, Msgr. John B. McNulty said Mass in a small building that was th retreat house for St. Ann's Parish - capacity 40. Within a year the parish grew to some 60 families so when the military offered warehouses to the public, Holy Name rented two and the parish had its first "church" and first school in 1956. Total Stewardship, as we know it today really seems to have gotten its start 50 years ago. Parishioners made the warehouses habitable-at least when it didn't rain. Flooding and wildlife sometimes made attendance challenging "the swamp." Fr. Paul Manning took over as pastor in 1955 and sometimes his sermons had to compete with loudspeakers from the dog track at the Palm Beach Kennel Club on Belvedere Rd.
The parish grew and the present church site was purchased and in 1960, a combination church and school was built the church was on the first floor and the school had 10 rooms on the second floor. The school opened with 455 pupils, 70 or them in one class. A school bus was purchased with green stamps. Fr. Timothy Carr was now pastor.
The old homestead on the property was refurbished into the present day convent. Fr. Frank McCann was our fourth pastor from 1964 to 1969. Again the seed of Total Stewardship was growing as Fatima Hall was built with $8000 and contributed labor and materials of the parishioners.
Fathers Raymond Scully and Jerome Martin saw short stints as pastors for a couple of years until Fr. Michael Keller took over in 1971. He was to remain pastor until his death in 1983. After twenty-five years, the parish was ready to fund its new church and rectory. Our present day edifice was dedicated in 1980 and the school got its first floor back.
In 1983 Fr. Seamus Murtagh became our 8th pastor and he continued Holy Name's growth. The pavilion and gardens were added and Trinity Center was dedicated in 1990. The parish bazaar turned into the Spring Festival and kept getting bigger and better. But Father Murtagh had a vision. He saw something in the congregation that many others did not see. He saw people willing to band together to help, comfort and love one another and to care for outsiders also. He foresaw STEWARDSHIP as a way of parish life and his vision came to fruition. He encouraged the formation of many ministries as avenues to encourage the new way of "doing church". He gave us confidence in ourselves as a parish family and encouraged us to become stewards of our benefits just as the parish founders did.
Fr. Murtagh moved on in 1998, but what he started grew. Our pastor, Fr. Gavin Badway, who was once parochial victor, returned in 2006. In the early years, he had to give much attention to the physical plant, which has to stand up to constant use. But he has continued the Stewardship tradition. Time, talent and treasure are the ways parishioners accept responsibility for Holy Name of Jesus and make themselves at home here.
We are fortunate to be past the 50-year milestone and hale and hearty. We are fortunate to have had hard working and dedicated parishioners who labored to make this parish one of the best in the Diocese of Palm Beach. Let us pray and hope that 50 years from now, the same will be said for our place in the history of this beloved parish ... HOLY NAME OF JESUS.