St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church

Skip to main content
History » History


Early in 1947, an Army chapel was moved to a nearly three-acre site on Old Gate Lane in the middles of a residential district between White Rock Lake and the new Casa Linda Shopping Center.  The entire cost of moving the chapel, adding a brick veneer and steeple, and furnishing the building was just $30,000.  By the dedication date, June 8, 1947, the chapel was completely paid through donations raised by the parish's energetic and well-connected pastor, Rev. John M. Wiewell.
















Living in a small room behind the chapel and taking his meals with parishioners, Fr Wiewell moved quickly to the next challenge: providing parish children and opportunity for a Catholic education.  Fifteen months later, in September 1948, three Sisters Servants of the Holy Ghost and Mary Immaculate welcome 115 students in six grades.  Over the years, St. Bernard School continued to grow both in physical size and population. At one time, the student body numbered over 500 children. 
















The following five years saw more construction on the parish campus.  In 1951 the rectory was completed.  Once of the largest residences for priest in the diocese at the time, the St. Bernard rectory provided living quarters for priest working in the other capacities outside the parish.

















The next year the school itself received a second story and a combined cafeteria and auditorium, while the nine Sisters teaching in the school moved into the new convent behind the school.  Once again, the convent was among the best in the diocese and included a private chapel.  Today the building is known as St. Joseph Hall. 

In September of 1957, construction began on the new church building.

In 1968 Monsignor Joseph P. Erbrick became the Second Pastor at Saint Bernard of Clarivaux Church and the first Parish Council was established.

In 1972 Monsignor James Tucek became the Third Pastor at St. Bernard Church. This year was also the 25th Anniversary of the Church. 

In 1973 Monsignor Richard E. Johnson became the Fourth Pastor at St. Bernard Church. The St. Bernard Kindergarten began their first year and the School Board was founded.