Parishioner’s ‘Cards for Catholics’ will assist St. Jude’s capital campaign

When St. Jude Church and School in Chattanooga found themselves having to replace an aging heating and cooling system costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, the church sprang into action to raise funds. The Journey Together Again Capital Campaign was launched.

Almost 20 years ago, a similar campaign, Journey Together, was established to build a family life center housing a gym and several classrooms. Various groups were asked to stage their own events to help raise the money.

Parishioner Sandee Jenkins was then and still is a member of Emmaus, the ensemble that provides music for the 8 a.m. Mass at St. Jude each Sunday. The group led music at numerous events, including special Masses, retreats, conferences, weddings, and funerals. They were one of the groups chosen to lead the ordination Mass for the first bishop of Knoxville with 5,000 in attendance.

Ms. Jenkins encouraged the group to record and sell an album to raise funds for the Journey Together Campaign. It took several months to complete the project.

“It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done, but somehow we managed to record 12 songs, some written by Daniel Hixon, who is now in the music ministry at St. Stephen in Chattanooga.”

Songs for the Journey raised more than $3,000 in album sales.

When the need arose again for the school, Ms. Jenkins began to think about other ways to help.

“I knew our group was not able to devote the time needed to record another album,” she said. “I wondered what I could do to help. Then I thought, ‘I’m in the greeting card business—I can design, print, and sell greeting cards especially for Catholics.’”

She did some research and learned it was difficult to find cards specifically for Catholic occasions. She interviewed managers of Catholic gift shops to see what they needed. Then she spent her vacation time designing the cards and selecting appropriate Scripture verses for each one. She worked with artists to prepare them for printing. She did the collating and boxing herself with help from family and friends.

“Cards for Catholics” was born. Six designs are included in a set: first Holy Communion, baptism, confirmation, anniversary of ordination, “happy birthday, Father,” and “happy birthday, Deacon.”

“My thinking for a fundraiser is to gift a set to each person or couple attending a church or school event and include a note encouraging the receiver to donate to the campaign, hoping they would be even more generous than the retail price,” Ms. Jenkins said.

Cards for Catholics retails at $10 per set of six, and individual cards go for $2 each.

“My goal is to match the $3,000 we raised with the album,” Ms. Jenkins said. “I want to encourage people to use their God-given gifts and talents for His church.”

To view the cards, visit or e-mail Sandee Jenkins at

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