Our Church History
The following excerpts were taken from a history book of St. Bernadette Church that was published in 2007 and is available for purchase in the Church office for $20. The book has a more complete history with amazing pictures.
On Jun 14, 1944, just days after the battle of Normandy (D-Day), St. Bernadette Church was established as a Mission Church. The first Mass was celebrated by Father Kennedy on December 4th in a little white chapel, which he had brought over from the grounds of Saint John the Evangelist.
By 1946, the parish served over 250 families. The young mission undertook its first construction project building a school, convent, and living quarters. The school began its first year in September 1947 with four sisters from the Third Order of St. Francis in Glen Riddle, Pennsylvania teaching grades k-3.
The parish was cannonically established in 1948, with Father William Stricker being made the first pastor. In the summer of 1948, Mass was being celebrated in the school hall. Ground was broken for the church that stands today in 1957 as the church grew in numbers and activities, including the school. The architects were a long time parishioners, Donald Johnson & Harold Bountin.
On December 14th, 1958, after the dedication of the cornerstone by Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle, the first solemn high Mass was celebrated by Father Stricker in a packed Church of nearly 850 people.
Sister Emma was named principal from 1959-1965 again as the school grew to 1,100 students, 14 nuns and 3 lay teachers by September 1960.