St. Bernard Catholic Church building was dedicated in May of 1877; this is our 142nd year of worshiping in this beautiful structure. Many projects have been completed to update the facility in the past 12 years.

We are delighted to share the extensive beautification project we recently completed in our church. Through a legacy gift by a long-time member of the parish, we were able to update the interior of the church. The project was led by a volunteer committee, guided by Father Gregory Abbott.

The design is a perfect blend of the historic with timeless beauty. When you enter the church, you will be drawn to the front — the sanctuary. The crucifix has always been a focal point in the church and the beauty was enhanced with back-lighting.

The dome of the sanctuary is now a magnificent gold foil, with exquisite artistry painted on the ceiling. In some of the design features, the presence of our patron Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was incorporated.

Saint Bernard was known by the sweetness of his writing and teaching — far sweeter than honey. Bees and honeycomb are a part of the design, which symbolizes the relentless work he did for the church. As you look up when exiting the church, you will see a depiction of Saint Bernard in our choir loft.

The walls of the church needed cleaning and repair before any painting was started. The refreshed color scheme features warm hues of tan with a cool blue tone as the accent color.

The beauty and detail in the Stations of the Cross have been restored. A designer worked tirelessly creating custom stencil patterns/lettering as well as refreshing all of the church’s existing statues. The altars were updated and granite was added. As you leave the church, you will see a verse added to inspire us “Go Therefore and Make Disciples of All Nations” Matthew 28:19. Father Abbott was a great evangelist and he chose this Bible verse, as his final gift to us. He is now serving as chaplain at the University of Minnesota Hospital.

During the project, the entire church had scaffolding in place to paint the ceiling. At a parish meeting, the topic of updating the church lighting was brought up. The use of the extensive scaffolding provided by the renovation team was seen as a significant cost saving for the parish.

We were able to research and order new light fixtures/LED bulbs with funds donated by Catholic United Financial members of the parish. During the beautification project, the parish was also able to update the choir loft steps, made possible with the help of volunteers, to meet current codes.

This project created many opportunities to volunteer, as we were not able to use our church for twelve weeks during the renovations. Many parishioners stepped forward, whether it was taking a role on the beautification committee, using their God-given gifts to help with the added projects, or numerous hands cleaned so we were able to use the church again.

The St. Bernard community has been blessed by this giving spirit

We invite you to come and see the finished project for yourself!

Julie Kleindl is a member of the St. Bernard community and beautification committee.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.


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