The parish of Our Lady Queen of the Apostles was founded in May, 1988 by the first bishop of Palm Beach, the Most Reverend Thomas V. Daily, D.D. The first pastor, Father Kevin McGabhann, held Sunday Mass at the Lions’ Club in Royal Palm Beach beginning in September. Weekday Masses were celebrated at the pastor’s residence in Loxahatchee. Almost immediately, a search began for a permanent site on which to build the structures that are a familiar part of most parishes in the United States. Finally, a site on Crestwood Boulevard was located and purchased.
In 1992, Father Leo Armbrust was appointed administrator of the parish and in July 1993 broke ground on the Crestwood site for a pavilion of 3,600 square feet where outdoor services could be held. A year later, the ground was again broken, this time for a multi-celebration building that would house parish activities, services, and offices. It was completed and blessed on St. Joseph’s Day in March 1995.
In the meantime, Deacon Ed Szpieg, who assisted here in his home parish, was ordained a priest for the diocese in December 1994 and assigned here to assist Father Leo. He later administered to the parish until October 1996. That’s when Father Michael Woodcock was installed as the second pastor of our parish. Low-key and well-liked, Father Woodcock served the parish until succeeded by Father Michael Tschudi, who was installed as pastor in October 1999. Father Tschudi, assisted by Father Sean Poland, who had succeeded Father Szpieg, pastored our parish until he began a sabbatical in July 2000.
It was at that time that Father Tom Skindeleski was named pastor. He was aided by a series of priests: Father Andrew Rudnicki, Father Tomasz Makowski, Father Mark Mlay from Tanzania, and Fathers Jimmy Hababag and Maximino Tria, both originally from the Philippines. Father Tom helped build up the parish structure with innovative ideas and new buildings, including Festival Hall, the priests’ residence, and a new parish office center, along with additional class space for the ever-growing parish religious education program (PREP).
In February 2006, Father Z. Andy Rudnicki became the 6th leader of this growing parish. He is assisted by Fr. Eli St. Fort. As pastor, Fr. Andy immediately began the mission towards building a permanent church. By Easter of 2006, Fr. Andy along with his building committee was able to share the preliminary drawings of this wonderful church. Through his diligence the following year we began our capital campaign, Foundation of the Apostles. Through this campaign, which was a huge success, and by the generosity of our parishioners and friends of Our Lady we raised over $4 million which gives us the necessary resources to break ground in the summer of 2008! This has been a tremendous accomplishment in just 2 short years. On December 12, 2009, Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Catholic Church was dedicated to the Greater Glory of God by the Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of Palm Beach.
Our parish has a great sense of spirituality and under Fr. Andy’s direction we celebrate every October a “Month of Spirituality”. During October, we pray the Rosary every evening at 7:30 PM. Also during this month, we hold our 40 Hours Devotion which has become a tradition at Our Lady. In addition, we celebrate a Priests’ Mass in honor of all the priests of the Diocese of Palm Beach. After Mass, every priest’s name of our diocese is placed in a basket, and parishioners take these names and pray for that priest throughout the year.
Our parish is a very diverse and vibrant parish consisting of over 2,600 families from many nationalities. We believe in Stewardship and renew our commitment every year in November as to our Time, Talent, and Treasure where not only do our parishioners commit their financial resources but also to serving the Lord through the over 50 ministries, committees and groups at our parish. The diverse backgrounds and interests of our parishioners add to the need of these ministries and great work is done especially in helping the poor and needy of our community. From our Life Teen program to our Seniors Group and from all of our liturgical ministries to our St. Vincent de Paul Society and prayer groups, our parish looks to reach out to those in need and to help them in their times of concern.
Our Lady Queen of the Apostles parish continues to grow and to be a special place in our community. Each year in November we hold our Annual Fall Festival which has become one of the major events in the Western Communities and offers a time for great fellowship and community.