From 1889 to 1940 St. Bernard's was a mission parish of St. Peter's Catholic Church in Ashton. It celebrated its golden jubilee in 1939 with a membership of 135 families. Fr. Ferdinand A. Mack served as the first resident pastor from 1940 until his golden jubilee and retirement in 1981. Throughout those years, the parish grew and became very active - building a new church, rectory, opening a school, implementing a religious education program and establishing various parish groups.
Fr. Joseph P. Higgins was named pastor and served in this position from 1981 until his retirement in June 2002. Under Monsignor Higgins' leadership the parish grew to the present membership of over 1,750 families. Other improvements included the building of the parish center, a new priest's residence, remodeling the sanctuary and renovating the parish offices and religious education center. Programs, such as RENEW and Small Faith Communities, also were initiated.
St. Bernard's faith community has been blessed with the guidance and service of many associates, sisters, lay staff and parish volunteers for its spiritual needs and opportunities to serve God.
1889 St. Bernard's became a mission parish of St. Peter's, Ashton. Small stone church was built.
1890 December, dedicated the new cemetery at New Year's Eve Mass.
1924 New addition to church was dedicated.
1940 June 22, Fr. Ferdinand A. Mack celebrated Mass as first resident pastor of St. Bernard's.
1946 September, school started in church basement with 85 students.
1949 September new school opened with 263 students, 6 sisters, and 1 lay teacher.
1953 Rectory built at 2015 Parmenter Street for three priests, offices and guests.
1959 Holy Week, new church dedicated at a cost of $480,000.
1970 March 1, Parish Council elected, six commissions formed.
1974 June, school closed, religious education program expanded, directors hired.
1975 Parish Home Visitor hired--first in Diocese.
1981 Monsignor Mack celebrates golden jubilee as priest and 75th birthday, retires in June; successor, Fr. Joseph P. Higgins, chancellor of Diocese of Madison.
1982 Rectory remodeled; God's Plan initiated.
1985 March, new Parish Center dedicated at a cost of $525,000.
1989 Sanctuary remodeling completed; Centennial celebrated.
1994/95 Priests' residence built, rectory converted to parish offices, Religious Education Center remodeled.
1996 Rededication of Religious Education Center; blessing and dedication of St. Bernard statue.
1998 Partners in Congregational Nursing implemented (Parish Nurse).
2002 Monsignor Joseph P. Higgins retired in June; successor Monsignor Paul J. Swain, vicar general of the Diocese of Madison. Rev. Michael (Mick) Moon appointed Parochial Vicar.
2003 Monsignor Paul Swain and Rev. Mick Moon reassigned in June; successor Monsignor Douglas L. Dushack was named new pastor. (Monsignor Swain was Ordained Bishop of Sioux Falls, S.D., in 2006).
2015 Msgr. Douglas L. Dushack retired in July; successor Rev. Brian Wilk was named new pastor.