Church began as a white frame church in 1905 at 61st and Miami
Streets. The parish consisted of "town-folk" from
Benson and its surrounding farmers. Fr. Harrington, pastor of
St. Cecilia's was the first to receive and expend funds on
behalf of St. Bernard Church. In 1906, Fr. D.W. Moriarty
became our first pastor. In 1912, the white frame church was
hoisted on rollers and moved to its present location. Also in
1912, a four-room, red-brick school house was built for the
sum of $6,837.00. St. Bernard Catholic School opened in
January of 1913. Sr. Mary Stephen, the first principal, and
two others from the Sisters of Mercy Order, came to staff the
school. As a result of then-recruiting efforts, 75 children
were enrolled in Kindergarten through 8th Grade that first
year, each Sister taking three grades.
In July of
1914, our second resident pastor, Fr. Jeremiah Buckley, later
to become Msgr. Buckley, came to St. Bernard Church. Due to
the growth in the parish, the cornerstone of a new church was
laid on the Feast of St. Bernard, August 20,1939. Ten years
later, the parish launched another building program. The
the street from the old red-brick school house was purchased.
On August 2, 1950, a new school was dedicated in Omaha.
In June of
1953, Fr. Anthony S. Kluthe, later to become Msgr. Kluthe,
became pastor. He soon found that the school, only 3 years
old, was not large enough for the growing number of children
seeking admission. He, therefore, contracted for construction
of an eight room addition which was dedicated in 1955.
A new rectory
was completed in 1957. Next came a modern convent (that was
built on land purchased west of the school in 1959. In 1971,
the convent was sold to the Poor Clare Sisters. In 1965, the
school received yet another eight room addition.
In November of
1967, Msgr. Edward McCaslin came to be the new pastor at St.
Bernard Church. One of the many accomplishments of Msgr.
McCaslin was to begin the Parish Memorial Endowment Fund.
Msgr. McCaslin remained at St. Bernard until the time of his
death in May of 1984.
Fr. Tom Ward
became pastor in 1984. Fr. Roland Peschel was pastor of St.
Bernard Church from 1989 until 1997. Fr. Jerome Spenner became
pastor in June 1997 until 2009.
In the spring
of 2001 a Capital Campaign was begun to finance a multiphase
renovation of our church.
Melchior became pastor in June 2009 until February 2012.
approximately 865 families in the parish today.