Parish History

On September 20, 2008, the Parish celebrated the 100th anniversary of the existing Church following the fire of the original Church in 1904.  100th  anniversay events will be held throughout the year by a special anniversary committee. 

For further information contact

Deacon Michael Berstene


1848 - 1st Mass celebrated by 15 Catholics in a house owned by the Paper Mill Company,  occupied by Christopher Carroll and family

1851 - 1853 The growth of Catholicism made larger quarters essential to an upper room  in a building on East Main St “Brick Tavern”

1853 - 1854 Skinner Hall located over the Meat Market on Market St. became the last place to attend Mass before present site was acquired

1854 - Established as a separate Parish, Rev. Peter Egan was the first resident Pastor

1854 -1st  2 acres of land purchased for St. Bernard Cemetery

1856 - Present site donated, completed and dedicated

1863 - 1st Assistant Pastor was appointed

1871 - 3 more acres added to St. Bernard Cemetery

1872 - 1st Priest buried in St. Bernard Cemetery

1878 - Re-dedication after St. Bernard Church was completely renovated: moved back adding 40 feet frontage, handsomely redecorated, gilt cross a topped tower additions, new organ placed in choir gallery, new Altar, pews and stained glass windows

1886 - 4 Sisters of Mercy arrive

1887 - 300 children begin school in 5 grades, located in the basement of the Church

1894 -  St. Bernard Cemetery enlarged by adding 6 acres totalling 11 acres

1895 - St. Bernard school opens with 319 pupils - 156 boys and 163 girls

1904 - St. Bernard Church totally destroyed by fire except for the existing Crucifix which is over the main altar today

1904 - Town Hall became the temporary place of worship while new construction began

1905 - The cornerstone of the present St. Bernard’s Church was laid during a ceremony 5 months later, the chapel in the basement was dedicated and used for Mass and other services until the upper church was completed

1908 - New Church rebuilt and dedicated on September 20

1914 - St. Bernard Rectory completed

1940 - Modern heating plant installed in Church. Fluorescent lighting and drinking fountains added to the school

1965 - Parking lot is built

1972 - 1st full time Religious Education coordinator

1979 - 125th Anniversary Celebration Mass

2004 - 150th Anniversary Mass and year-long celebration

2008 - Blessing of new organ at 100th Anniversary Mass on September 20