Father Thomas A. Gude, who served as a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Washington for more than 50 years, died on Jan. 2. He was 79 years old and had been living at the Sacred Heart Home in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Father Gude was born on Nov. 24, 1939 in Washington, D.C. Following his preparatory seminary studies at St. Charles High School, Catonsville, Maryland, and St. Mary’s College, Saint Mary, Kentucky, he studied at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington on May 8, 1965 at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle.

His first assignment was as a parochial vicar at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in Seat Pleasant, Maryland. From 1980 to 1993, Father Gude served as pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish in Indian Head, Maryland, and then he was pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Lexington Park, Maryland, from 1993 to 2002. 

In 2002, he was assigned as a parochial vicar at Mount Calvary Parish in Forestville, Maryland, and then as administrator of St. Gabriel Parish in Washington, D.C., in 2006. 

In 2008, Father Gude was appointed pastor of St. Michael Parish in Baden, and for its mission at St. Dominic in Aquasco, Maryland, until his retirement in 2017 when he lived at the Cardinal O’Boyle Residence in Washington, D.C. In 2018, he became a resident of Marian Assisted Living.

Father Gude also served as a military chaplain and as a chaplain to the Knights of Columbus.

In a 2015 Catholic Standard article about the golden anniversary of his priesthood, Father Gude said that when he was ordained a priest 50 years earlier, his mother told him to put the words, "By the grace of God" on his chalice. He said he still used that chalice, engraved with those words, every day as he celebrated Mass.

Reflecting on his parish assignments over the years, Father Gude said, "I had a great time in all of them, and no bad days at all."

The Vigil for Father Gude will be held Monday Jan. 7 at St. Jerome Church, 5205 43rd Avenue, Hyattsville, Maryland, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by  the Vigil Mass at 7:30 p.m. Washington Auxiliary Bishop Michael Fisher will celebrate the Funeral Mass for Father Gude on Tuesday Jan. 8 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Jerome Church. Interment will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Silver Spring.

Father Gude was the son of the late Francis and Mary Gude. Survivors include his brother Gerald (Kathleen) Gude, and his nieces Jennifer Dillon, Elizabeth (James) Kanouff and Frances Gude. He was the great uncle of Grace Dillon and of Timothy and Kimberly Kanouff.