History of the Church of St. Bernadette

After World War II ended, buildings once used to assist the war effort became the cornerstone of St. Bernadette Church. In 1947 Jefferson Barracks was offered to the City of St. Louis for a Veterans Housing Project. As families began to populate this area, the Catholic population climbed. A number of families approached Archbishop Ritter and asked that a priest be sent to the Chapel to help with Sunday Mass. When they became aware that there were over 200 families, the Archbishop decided a Parish and School were indeed needed.

St. Bernadette's Rectory was the induction center during World War I, and during World War II a portion of our rectory basement, was used as the dental offices for those entering and exiting the Military.

Important Dates & Events

Dates Events
September 4, 1947 Fr. John Feckter named founding Pastor
September 14, 1947 First Parish Mass said by Fr. Feckter
September 16, 1947 First day of school (4 classes) Staffed by School Sisters of Notre Dame
October 9, 1947 Fr. Feckter & Fr. Dwyer move into rectory
October 11, 1947 1st Wedding on record at St. Bernadette
Lent 1948 First two-week Mission conducted by Redemptorists
May 9, 1948 First Communion Day for 28 children
September 1948 Second School Year begins 295 enrolled
February 21, 1949 1st Funeral on record
May 1, 1949 First 1st Communion Class on record
June 5, 1949 1st Graduation Class of 5 from St. Bernadette Grade School
November 20, 1949 1st Confirmation Class: 86 children, 24 adult converts
February, 1950 The Government gives Buildings 67, 68 & Barracks Theatre to St. Bernadette Parish
March 15, 1953 Dedication of "new" St. Bernadette Church officiated by Archbishop Ritter
September, 1954 Grade School moves to Bldg. 67 (former Bishop DuBourg High School)
June, 1962 Rev. John J. Hyland assigned as second Pastor
September, 1965 St. Bernadette Grade School moves again to newly constructed school
June, 1966 Dedication of the new school
January, 1971 Rev. Edward J. Deutschmann assigned as third Pastor
January, 1977 Rev. Robert G. Leibrecht assigned as fourth Pastor
June, 1981 Rev. John P. Abels assigned as fifth Pastor
June, 1982 Rev. Jerome R. Keaty assigned as sixth Pastor
October 1989 Rev. Thomas J. Graham assigned as seventh Pastor
September, 1994 Rev. Mark S. Ebert assigned as eighth Pastor
Lent, 1997 Parish Mission conducted by the Redemptorists
September 14, 1997 Golden Jubilee of Parish Most Rev. Justin Rigali, Principal Celebrant
September, 2000 Opening of merged parish grade school with St. Matthias
Lent, 2003 Parish Mission conducted by the Redemptorists
March 15, 2003 Golden Jubilee of the Solemn Dedication of The Church of Saint Bernadette Most Rev. Robert J. Hermann, Principal Celebrant
June 23, 2003 Rev. Gary J. Faust assigned as ninth Pastor
October 2, 2004 Fall Festival
September 23, 2007 Sixtieth (60th) Anniversary of the Parish. Holy Mass was celebrated at 10:30 AM
September 2008 First Stewardship Festival of Ministries
August 2010 Stewardship Education Committee Formed
November 6, 2011 50 Plus Communion Breakfast; Most Rev. Robert J. Hermann, Principal Celebrant
November 2011 Evangelization Committee Formed
September 16, 2012 Sixty-fifth (65th) Anniversary of the Parish. Holy Mass was con-celebrated at 10:30 AM by Fr. Gary Faust, Fr. Robert Leibrecht, and Fr. Paul Spielman. Brunch followed shortly after at Royale Orleans.
October 2, 2013 Father Faust blessed the
Merchant Marine Monument located in
Jefferson Barracks Cemetary