Archbishop Albert G. Meyer purchased the St. Bernadette property from Joseph Spartz in July 1957. The formation of St. Bernadette Parish was announced in June 1958 and Father John Arens was appointed the first Pastor. The first rectory was established in a house at 6881 N. 91st Street. The first Mass was celebrated in a tent on July 13, 1958. The tent was used for Sunday Mass from July through October 1958. Cold weather required moving Sunday Liturgies to neighboring St. Catherine Church. After six months, St. Bernadette consisted of 446 families.
Ground was broken for the first building phase in the spring of 1959. This phase consisted of a 750-seat temporary church/gym facility, the cafeteria, and the future convent. This was followed by additional construction projects: outdoor grotto, in 1961; rectory and first school wing with 8 classrooms, in 1964; 2 more classrooms and a meeting room, in 1966; and 6 additional classrooms and library, in 1967. Our school opened in 1965. Our Church renovation, new entryway, and tower were completed in February 1993.
In 2008, St. Bernadette Parish celebrated its 50th anniversary. In those 50 Years, we have had six pastors: Father John Arens (1958-1971), Father James Ruetz (1971-1986), Father William Whalen (1986 to 2001), Father Larry Sepich (2001-2007), Father Allan Sommer (2007-2011), and Father Gregory Greiten (2011-present). Today, St. Bernadette Parish numbers approximately 400 families.