St. Bernadette Catholic Church
3825 Don Felipe Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90008-4299 United States
8:00 am & 10:00 am
Saturdays in the Church from 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm and upon request
Weekly Mass Schedule
Holy Days of Obligation
8:00 am, 12:00 pm, 7:00 pm
All Saints’ Day
Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary
History of our Parish
A PARISH IS BORN
St. Bernadette Parish was officially established by His Excellency, John Joseph Cantwell, Archbishop of Los Angeles, April 28, 1947. The temporary church was a converted part of La Cienega O’Paso De Boca La Tijera. This old rancho dated back to the year 1790. In 1875, the ownership of the rancho passed to “Lucky” Baldwin. Subsequently, the Sunset Fields Golf Course was established on part of the property. Reverend William J. Duggan, the newly appointed pastor of St. Bernadette, decided that the former Sunset Fields Golf Course, which was closing, would be an appropriate location for the church site. Negotiations were made, and three and one half acres of the golf course became the property of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The original adobe buildings, erected by Sunset Fields, were repaired and extended as a temporary church and rectory. Hence, the structures that became St. Bernadette’s first rectory consisted of two of Los Angeles’ oldest buildings. This unusual parish structure also included the former Sunset Fields clubhouse. Sections of the old golf club served as a church, meeting hall, dining room, and living quarters. This was St. Bernadette’s first church.
The new parish included portions of St. John the Evangelist and Transfiguration parishes. Naturally, it wasn’t easy for Fr. Duggan to win over the loyalty of the people who were attached to their mother parishes.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was first celebrated on August 24, 1947 in the Sunset Fields clubhouse. Church furnishings and vestments had been donated by St. John the Evangelist parish. The new parish originally consisted of 147 families. The congregation sat on folding chairs and knelt on the floor. The auditorium of the clubhouse would later be converted into a permanent church with more suitable accommodations. The remodeled auditorium, now the permanent church, had a seating capacity of 350. St. Bernadette Church, located at 3701 Stocker Street, became the first church in the Archdiocese to be dedicated by Archbishop Francis A. McIntyre.
On April 4, 1948, Archbishop McIntyre presided at the solemn dedication Mass and Father Duggan was the celebrant. Assistants at the Mass were Rev. Maurice J. Ryan, Rev. Patrick J. Redahan, Msgr. Edward V. Wade, and Mr. Thomas Peacha, a seminarian of the parish. In his sermon, Msgr. Martin McNicholas, pastor of St. John the Evangelist, noted that the new parish was typical of the progress of the Church throughout the ages, throughout the world, and particularly of the growth of the Los Angeles area.
It was a proud and happy congregation that attended the inspiring and colorful ceremony of dedication during which the new parish church was blessed.
On May 2, 1948, nine girls and seven boys received their First Holy Communion from Fr. Duggan. Lawrence Werner was the first child to receive his First Holy Communion in St. Bernadette Church. His brother, Patrick, was the first child to be baptized in the church. The Sacrament of Confirmation was first administered at St. Bernadette on February 28, 1954. The parishioners attending the ceremony witnessed the confirming of 102 Christians by Bishop Timothy Manning.