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St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church
Proclaiming, Worshiping, and Serving God
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OUR PASTORS

Our first pastor was Father Francis X. Mauclerc. He was born in France on August 30, 1817. He joined the Society of Brothers of Mary and was ordained a priest in 1853. He came to the Brothers of Mary in Dayton and to the Cincinnati Diocese in 1860. He cared for St. Bernard Parish from 1860 to 1863. He signed the first extant baptismal record November 28, 1860. He returned to St. Remy, France, where he died and was buried, May 2, 1876.

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Father William Deiters was born in Germany, September 26, 1810. He was ordained October 24, 1833. He was incardinated into the Cincinnati Diocese in 1850. He was appointed to St. Bernard's in 1863 and was the first resident Pastor. We can find little concerning him or where he was sent when he left St. Bernard's. We do know, however, that he died in Chicago, July 5, 1899.

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Father Januarius Weissenberger was born in Germany, January 1, 1822. He was ordained, most likely in Germany, March 7, 1857. He was taken into the Cincinnati Diocese in 1865 and was then sent to St. Bernard, as he followed Father Deiters in February, 1866. He signed his first baptismal record as Pastor on February 11, 1866. After the laying of St. Bernard Church's cornerstone, in 1867, he left in the Fall of 1868 for Europe, because of ill health. He must have returned to this country later, for we find in the Diocesan History that he died February 1, 1890, at Dover, Ohio, where his remains were laid to rest.

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Father John H. Juetting was born in Germany, and nothing can be learned of him but that he was here in Springfield as Pastor of St. Bernard in 1868. Very little is known of Father Juetting. We do know that he was Assistant Pastor of St. Boniface Church, St. Louis, MO, for four years. He then went to South Dakota, where at Salem, SD, he died on January 22, 1886, and was buried there.

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Rev. Bernard H. Engbers was here only a few months in 1869, between the leaving of Father Juetting and the coming of Father Schuchart.

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Father John M. Schuchart was born in Germany, November 15, 1834, and was ordained in Baltimore, MD on June 29, 1866 by Archbishop M. Spalding. He was taken into the Archdiocese of Cincinnati from the Diocese of Covington, KY three years after his ordination. Most likely St. Bernard was his first Archdiocesan appointment, since he was made Pastor in August, 1869. He was here as Pastor until December, 1881, a period of over twelve years. He was sent as Pastor to St. Henry Church on Flint Street in Cincinnati. He spent twenty-two years as Pastor of St. Henry Church and died in Cincinnati and was buried there. His death took place October 2, 1903.

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Father John Dominic Kress was born in Wheeling, WV on March 3, 1837. He was ordained in Cincinnati on August 6, 1864, and was appointed to St. Bernard's in 1882. After five years' labor in the Parish he was made Pastor of St. Boniface Parish, Cumminsville, Cincinnati, Ohio. He labored many years in the Diocese at St. Boniface Church, and he died in Cincinnati, November 18, 1916.

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Father Augustus J. Fischer served the Parish longer than any of our Pastors thusfar - from 1887 to 1912. He was born in Germany on June 28, 1848. He was ordained in Cincinnati in 1873. He served as Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church, Walnut Hills, Cincinnati, Ohio. There he started the building of their present church. The labor of such large proportions seemed too much for him, and he asked to be relieved of the burden, and was sent to St. Bernard's. After many years here, ill health made it necessary for him to resign, and he spent the remainder of his days in Dayton, where he died January 4, 1919. He was laid to rest in our St. Bernard Cemetery, to be among the people he so long and faithfully served.

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Rev. John H. Metzdorf took charge of St. Bernard's in February, 1912, on Washington's Birthday. He was born July 12, 1875, in Germany, just outside of the famous city of Treves, very close to the Luxemburg border. After his classic course had been made in the German gymnasiums, he came to America and entered Mt. St. Mary of the West Seminary in Cincinnati. He was ordained in St. Peter's Cathedral on June 21, 1900. He was Assistant at St. Joseph Parish and St. Augustine Parish both in Cincinnati. After about four years as Assistant, he was made Pastor of Sacred Heart Church, McCartyville Ohio. After a few years there, he was sent as Pastor to St. Philomena Church in Cincinnati. During Father Metzdorf's time at St. Bernard, he had our present school building built, the church remodeled, and the rectory built. He accomplished a great deal more during the twenty years of his labors among the people of St. Bernard's. He left St. Bernard's January, 1932, to take charge of St. Martin of Tours Church, Cheviot, Ohio. While at St. Martin's, he was elevated to Monsignor. He died there in 1955 and is buried in the Priest's Mound at our own St. Bernard Cemetery.

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Father John H. Schawe succeeded Father Metzdorf in January, 1932. Father Schawe was born in Cincinnati, June 10, 1889. He received his education in St. Mary Parochial School, St. Gregory Seminary and St. Xavier College. He was ordained from Mt. St. Mary Seminary of the West at St. Peter's Cathedral on May 29, 1915, by Most Rev. Archbishop Henry Moeller. After being Assistant at St. Matthew, South Norwood, and St. Francis de Sales, Walnut Hills, he in 1921 became Pastor of St. Paul's, Yellow Springs, Ohio. In 1927 he was sent to Resurrection Church, Dayton, as Pastor. In 1932 he became Pastor of St. Bernard's. He died in 1942 while still Pastor of St. Bernard's.

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Fr. Henry Joseph Richter served as pastor of St. Bernard Parish from 1942 until 1945. He was born on January 11, 1884. Father Richter completed his theological studies at Mt. St. Mary of the West Seminary and was ordained at the cathedral in Cincinnati on June 16, 1909, by Archbishop Moeller. His first assignment was to Emmanuel Parish in Dayton, Ohio. He then served as associate pastor of St. Henry Parish in Cincinnati. He next served the mission churches of Scioto County, Ohio, for a number of years. He was then assigned to St. Ann Parish and later to St. Aloysius Parish, both in Cincinnati. Father Richter was then assigned as pastor here at St. Bernard Parish. He left St. Bernard's in 1945 to become the Chaplain at Mt. St. Joseph Mother House in Cincinnati. During his time at the Mother House, he was elevated to Monsignor. He died there on September 9, 1974.

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Fr. William Anthony Shine succeeded Father Richter as pastor of St. Bernard Parish in 1945. He was born on April 27, 1895. He completed his seminary studies at Mt. St. Mary of the West Seminary and was ordained by Archbishop Henry Moeller on September 20, 1919 in Cincinnati. His first assignment after ordination was as associate pastor at St. Matthew Parish in Norwood, Ohio. He was then assigned to Holy Angels Parish in Cincinnati. During this time he taught Hebrew at St. Gregory Seminary and completed his masters degree at Fordham University. Father Shine continued his education in Rome, Italy, studying there from 1929 until 1932. Upon his return from Rome, he was appointed the vice-rector of St. Gregory Seminary. From 1936 until 1945, he was the administrator of Holy Ghost Parish in Veracruz, Ohio. Father Shine was pastor of St. Bernard's from 1945 until 1953 when he was assigned as pastor of St. James Parish in Wyoming, Ohio. He later became Pastor Emeritus of St. James Parish. He died in Cincinnati on February 19, 1987.

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Fr. Cletus Rieger took charge of St. Bernard Parish in 1953. He was born on June 11, 1897. He completed his theological studies at The Pontifical College Josephinum, at Columbus, Ohio, and was ordained in Columbus on May 21, 1925, by Bishop James J. Hartley. He first served as associate pastor at Holy Rosary Parish in Dayton. He then served as an associate pastor at a number of parishes in Cincinnati, including St. Anthony, St. Boniface, St. Henry, and St. Augustine. Father Rieger was then assigned to St. Boniface Parish in Piqua, Ohio. He then returned to Holy Rosary Parish in Dayton. His first assignment as Pastor of a parish was at St. Joseph's in La Rue, Ohio. He was then assigned as Pastor of St. Sebastian Parish in Sebastian, Ohio. He then went to St. Mary's in Hillsboro and to St. Bernard in Taylors Creek, Ohio. From 1953 until 1957 he was Pastor here at St. Bernard's. He was then assigned to St. Stephen's Parish in Cincinnati, a position he held until his retirement in 1967. Father Rieger died at his home in Louisville, KY, on March 9, 1988.

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Fr. John P. O'Connor succeeded Father Rieger as Pastor of St. Bernard's in 1957. He was born in Springfield on November 22, 1898. He received his elementary education at St. Joseph Parochial School and attended Mt. St. Mary of the West Seminary. He was ordained on May 29, 1926 at St Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati by Archbishop John McNicholas. His seminary class was unusual in that the members of the class were ordained before their studies were completed due to a lack of priests at the time in the Archdiocese. His first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Bellefontaine. He then served at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Cincinnati, and at Corpus Christi and St. Anthony in Dayton. He was then assigned as asistant pastor of his home parish of St. Joseph's, here in Springfield. From St. Joseph's he was sent to Holy Family Parish in Dayton and then to St. James in Wyoming, Ohio. He then became administrator of St. Martin Parish in St. Martin, Ohio. From St. Martin's he was sent as pastor to St. Michael's Parish in Cincinnati. He became pastor of St. Bernard's in 1957 and served our parish until his retirement in June, 1971. During his retirement, he served as the Chaplain at the Ursaline Convent in Brown County, Ohio. He died there on January 16, 1983.

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Fr. John P. Boyle succeeded Father O'Connor as Pastor of St. Bernard Parish in June, 1971. Father Boyle was born in Springfield on November 5, 1919. He attended our own St. Bernard School, graduating from the eighth grade in 1934. He entered St. Gregory Seminary in the fall of that year for his minor seminary studies. He continued his seminary studies at Mt. St. Mary's Seminary and was ordained in Cincinnati on May 20, 1944. Father Boyle was assigned as a teacher to St. Gregory Seminary and for many years was the Spiritual Director there. He left that post to assume his duties here at St. Bernard Parish. In July, 1983, Father was re-assigned as Pastor of St. Mary's Church, Urbana, Ohio. Poor Health caused him to retire in 1984, and he died in Springfield on September 12, 1993. He is burried in the Priest's Mound at St. Bernard Cemetery.

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Father Donald C. Huebner took charge of St. Bernard Parish in July of 1983. Father Huebner was born in Springfield on July 4, 1928. He received his elementary education at St. Teresa School and St. Raphael School in Springfield. He attended Catholic Central High School, graduating in 1946. Father Huebner attended St. Gregory Seminary and Mt. St. Mary's Seminary in Cincinnati and was ordained by Archbishop Karl J. Alter in May, 1954. He ministered to numerous parishes in Cincinnati from 1954 to 1971. During that time he also taught at Purcell High School and Seaton High School in Cincinnati. Father served several Dayton parishes from 1971 to 1983 when he was assigned as Pastor of St. Bernard. Father Hubener retired as Pastor on July 1, 2001. He died October 23, 2008 and is buried next to his parents and brother at St. Bernard Cemetery.

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Fr. Paul F. Hurst succeeded Father Huebner as Pastor of St. Bernard Parish on July 2, 2001. He was born in Cincinnati on July 25, 1945. Father Hurst attended St. Lawrence Elementary School in Price Hill in Cincinnati and graduated from Elder High School in 1963. He attended the University of Cincinnati, graduating in 1968. He worked briefly as a bill collector for a Cincinnati trucking company. He then taught seventh and eighth grade for one year at a parochial school in Covington, Kentucky. He then worked for approximately 5 years as a claims examiner for the Bureau of Employment Services in Cincinnati. Father Hurst entered Mt. St. Mary's Seminary in 1973. After completing his seminary studies he was ordained at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral by Cardinal (then Archbishop)  Bernardin in 1977. Father served as a Deacon at St. Joseph Parish, Springfield, in 1976. His first assignment after ordination was at St. Anthony's in Dayton where he served from 1977 to 1980. He then was assigned to St. Mary's Springfield from 1980 to 1985, during which time he served as the Catholic Chaplain at Community Hospital. From 1985 to 1987, he was the Catholic Chaplain at Kettering Medical Center while also serving at St. Albert Parish in Kettering. In 1987, Father Hurst was assigned to Our Lady of Good Hope Parish in Miamisburg, Ohio. From 1989 to June, 2001, he served as Pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Germantown, Ohio. Fr. Hurst retired to Cincinnati, Ohio on July 1, 2014.

Copyright  2014 Sean M.
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