About St. Bernadette’s Parish
St. Bernadette ‘s was Founded on June 25 1966, with Monsignor Charles C. Beausang as pastor. Mass was celebrated for the first time in the new parish on July 31, 1966 at the American Legion hall. Daily was celebrated in the temporary rented rectory at 202 East Steelman Avenue from June 1966 until February 1967, when the priests moved to a new house at 1203 Shore Raod. Daily Masses continued there until the new church was completed on New Road in 1969.
“Mothers, Speak to your Daughters.”
Statue of Mary and St. Bernadette sculpted by Fr. Leonard Carrieri, M.S.S.C.C.
The feast day of St. Bernadette is celebrated on April 16.
It was a crisp autumn afternoon, Sunday, October 7, 2001 as parishioners gathered to take part in the blessing and dedication of the shrine to St. Bernadette and Mary the Mother of Jesus. Monsignor Velozo led the gathering in praying the Rosary before reflecting on the image of Our Blessed Mother talking to St. Bernadette.
The shrine is the vision of Father Leonard Carrieri, M.S.S.C.C. after his many meditations on Mary and Bernadette. A priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Father Carrier’s “retirement” has led him to a second career as an artist and sculptor. The artist has captured the essence of the apparitions at Lourdes while offering a present day message; “Mothers, Speak to your Daughters.”
Bernadette Soubirous was born in Lourdes, France. She was from a poor family, and at the age of eleven, had contracted cholera, a disease from which she would never fully recover. In February, 1858, 14 years old Bernadette, along with her sister Marie and a friend ventured out to gather
firewood. Marie and the friend went in one direction, and Bernadette in another. Bernadette was drawn to Massabielle, a nearby grotto. It was there the Blessed Mother first appeared to her, although, she would not know the identity of the Lady until six months later.
Mary appeared to Bernadette eighteen times. On one occasion, Mary asked Bernadette to dig a hole in the ground and wash her face in the mud. As Bernadette did this, a spring of water began to flow. Mary told Bernadette that the water would be a healing spring to those that came to use it. Bernadette carried another message from Mary-this one to the local pastor, that a chapel was to be built near the sight of the healing waters, honoring Mary’s appearances there. The apparitions were declared authentic in 1862, and Lourdes quickly became a pilgrimage site.
As a young woman, Bernadette joined the Sisters of Charity and Christian Instruction in Nevers, France and soon thereafter was given the name Sister Marie-Bernard. She remained at Nevers until her death at age 36 on April 16, 1879. She was declared a saint in 1933, not because of the
apparitions of the Blessed Mother, but because of her dedication to a life of simplicity and service.