Churches worth driving to

St. Bernard, Eureka


Name of Church St. Bernard Church

Address 615 H Street, Eureka CA 95501

Phone number (707) 442-6466


Mass times Sundays, 10 a.m.  Daily, 12:15 p.m., with Communion Service Monday & Thursday.  (St. Bernard is a dual, jointly-administrated parish along with St. Joseph Mission Church, Henderson & C Street, Eureka, about a 5 minute drive away.  Additional Mass times are available at St. Joseph.)

Confessions  Saturdays, 3 p.m. at St. Joseph.

Names of priests Father Eric Freed, pastor.



Special groups/activities Respect Life Committee, Woman’s Club, Knights of Columbus, Italian Catholic Federation, Secular Franciscans, Eucharistic Adoration on Wednesdays following the 12:15 p.m. Mass

School Yes, Pre-K through 8th grade.

Fellow parishioners This is a predominantly English-speaking community; during the summer, you’ll see a number of tourists.

Parking No problem.

Acoustics Sound system is fine.

Additional observations  St. Bernard is Eureka’s oldest building still owned and used by its original owner for its original purpose.  Dedicated in 1886, it is part of the diocese of Santa Rosa.  (St. Joseph Mission Church was built in 1915.)  The parish is located in Northern California on the coast, and serves about 600 families.  St. Bernard is a magnificent old redwood church with beautiful artwork, and has undergone extensive renovation in recent years to restore it to its original look.  Highlights of the church include 70 stained glass windows, a traditional altar and large paintings behind the altar depicting the crucifixion and the Blessed Mother.

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  1. Now that is what a Roman Catholic Church should look like not an airplane hanger or a cold gymnasium. Having said that this church was built for the TLM, good to see high altar intact, but communion rail ripped out and a “peoples” table in front of that stunning high altar, totally out of place and has no business being there. Bring the Mass of All Times back to St. Bernards where it should be!!!

    • Yeah, Janek, they’ll get right on that, following your directives.

    • If it were “the Mass of all time” why didn’t our Lord Jesus use it? It appears that He said the first Mass in Aramaic/Hebrew and that most early Christians prayed in Greek (hence the Kyrie), and that Latin was late on the scene. Your “all time” just doesn’t hold up to inspection.

    • From the CCC:
      The Mass of all ages
      1345 As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:
      On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.
      The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.
      When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.
      Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.
      When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.
      Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.
      He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.
      When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: ‘Amen.’
      When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the “eucharisted” bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent. 171
      171 St. Justin, Apol. 1, 65-67: PG 6, 428-429; the text before the asterisk (*) is from chap. 67.

      • Thank you, Anonymous…but that outline of the early liturgy falls as close to the Novus Ordo as it does to Janek’s unconvincing take on the TLM as the “Mass of all times.”

        • Damian, that really is in Justin Martyr’s dialog with Trypho the Jew, or at least a similar translation from the original. Justin Martyr also mentions that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. I guess the translation “presider” could be debated –possibly it could be translated “priest”, but my Classical Book Club version that I bought forty or fifty years ago, did say those things, and Catholic answers sometimes quotes his Dialog. The fact that Justin Martyr mentioned that Christians did worship on a Sunday and that the Eucharist did become the body and blood of Christ in an unbloody manner were some of the reasons I converted to the Catholic Church as opposed to a denomination such as the Seventh Day Adventists.

          • Remember also, Damien, many of the early Christian Masses were served in houses as Christianity was unlawful and underground in most places at that time. After all, Justin Martyr WAS a martyr for the Faith.

  2. The sanctuary makes me think about “The Holy of Holies”.

  3. My dear Michael, your “man made” Novus Ordo service will fade into history for the “Mass of All Times” that the Saints new, will never die, how can it when Jesus created it?? You go ahead and keep your dancing girls, altar girls, giant puppets, kiss of peace, hand holding, gutiars, drums, polka, mariachi, jazz, polyester vestments, peoples dinner table, well the list can go on and on and before you say Jesus did not have the Last Supper in Latin nor was it in English. Give me salvation with a priest who will face God and offer our sacrifice for us, with lovely Latin chant, kneeling, revererance, bells and smells, stunning vestments and grand churches befitting of God and yes they are elaborate for to please God is what we must do!

    • Good heavens, Janek, what kind of nutty liturgies do you choose?
      Puppets, polka, etc. — you’ve gotta get a grip, man.
      I’ve been Catholic all my life and never attend the kinds of Masses you describe. You really gotta get out more, and avoid all this jazz music, dancing girls, etc. For starters, go to church, not to some nightclub with dancing girls.

      • Ronald, such things have happened in a few Catholic churches in California. The “dancing” girls he refers to are called liturgy dancers. I saw one such event myself, even though Cardinal Arinze, the head of the Liturgy at that time, said that liturgical dancing could only be done outside of the Mass in a hall or other place. It was also done in another church in my area, but they stopped doing it. The one I saw, although it was wrong to do at Mass, was reverently done as the girls were fully covered in an Asian style and the movements were graceful and not sensual. Nevertheless, it holds the parishioners a captive audience and should not be done as it is more like entertainment and often prolongs the Mass. I do not know how the other one was done, but in some places in the U.S. some of the girls or women were not covered enough. Also, there has been puppet and Barney Masses on line in some Catholic Churches. One church even allowed the organist and Eucharistic Ministers to wear such things as devil and witches costumes for Halloween until Catholics from all over complained. I think it stopped after the complaints, but I really do not know. You can Google them on line; they should still be there.

        • And, by the way, I never go knowingly to such Masses either, Ronald. Neither does my husband.

        • Dancing girls were present during the opening procession and the offertory at a Mass at the Cathedral in Los Angeles in October. Each December 12th you can attend almost any Catholic Church of your choosing in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and perhaps beyond to see scantily clad male and female Aztec dancers and drummers perform at various times throughout the Mass.

  4. This is what the Catholic Church’s Constitution on Sacred Liturgy states:
    Lastly, in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way. The Council also desires that, where necessary, the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet the circumstances and needs of modern times.

    Neither the NO or the TLM is better than the other. They are just different. The NO is a liturgy has been updated to meet the needs of modern times. It is time for people to stop preaching what is not Catholic, such as one rite being better than the other. That is not what the Church teaches. Go to which ever rite you prefer, but stop with “mine is better than yours” stuff. Please!

    • No Bob One, it has been the NO’ers like you who attack us, with your smug liberal attitude.. I am not going to stop I will continue to attack liberal Catholics without end….

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Canisius, you just did a terrific point of proving Bob One’s point. And by the way, it is not the TLM that is unattractive to parishioners. It is this pretense of superiority that turns people off. Humility often seems in short supply among those most promotional of the TLM.

        • The CC thought police strike again… so YFC, as someone who once posted that he was going straight to heaven, I take your post as a pathetic joke…

      • To what end?

        • Til Liberals are hounded out and the Church is purified

          • Ok, let’s hound the liberals out and purify the Church. What three things make a devout Catholic “liberal?” What parts of the Gospel that urge us toil for the poor do you not agree with? What part of the documents of the VII do you not agree with? What could Pope Francis do to make the Church more “conservative?” What is a “conservative” Catholic? There has to be something that you are praying for that liberals don’t know is wrong. What is it? As a Catholic I would be interested in why you think makes me liberal when all my friends and family keep telling me how “conservative” I am.

          • Jesus sat down with sinners and tax collectors, Canisius. He didn’t attack them, deny them, or try to purify his Church from them. Maybe you might imitate our Lord? Blessed be He!

          • OK Bob One here you go:

            What three things make a devout Catholic “liberal? the constant denial of the Church’s main mission as the instrument of salvation AND NOT as social welfare agency. The insisting on viewing the Mass as a community “meal”, and the wink and nod given to the Faithful by clerics who WILL NOT preach the moral teachings of the Church and they are legion.

            ” What parts of the Gospel that urge us toil for the poor do you not agree with… I will not toil for those who refuse to help themselves…btw Bob One I am personally starting a crowd funding campaign for Good Counsel Homes…so you can’t say I am against the so called poor

            What part of the documents of the VII do you not agree with: Nostra Aetate, DIGNITATIS HUMANAE,

            What could Pope Francis do to make the Church more – The immediate excommunication of Catholic politicians who support abortion. Immediate and retroactive regularization of the SSPX, removing Catholic affiliations from Colleges that tolerate the presence or teachings of anti-Catholic ideas

            As a Catholic I would be interested in why you think makes me liberal … your gay positive attitude, your mocking of the TLM, and your constant wailing on how the Church should be a welfare agency while minimizing its real mission which is the salvation of souls.

            If your friends think you are conservative then they must be outright Stalinist..

          • Aelred with all respect, Our Lord may have sat down with sinners, but His Church was not established til after the Resurrection and He told them to go and sin no more. He did not say let your conscience be your guide… what can I say after 50 years of desolation brought to us by modernist, I am justice over mercy kind of guy…..

          • Ann Malley says:

            Well said, Canisius. Thank you!

  5. Beautiful church, inside and out. The single campanile/steeple centered in the façade is a little unusual for churches of this vintage, but give the church a unified, harmonious appearance. A fine example of 19th century church architecture. Sounds like St Bernard church is a candidate for official historic building/landmark status.

  6. Steve Phoenix says:

    “ When we rise to pray, we turn East, where heaven begins. And we do this not because God is there, as if He had moved away from the other directions on earth, but rather to help us remember to turn our mind towards a higher order; that is, to God.” –St Augustine So, Mass was ad orientem, not facing the people (ca 400 AD). Hmm.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Can I just remind all the ad Orientum folks, that Copernicus, who put forth the idea that the SUN not the EARTH was the center of the solar system, was not born until a THOUSAND YEARS after this quote. Ad orientum was where the sun rose above the center of the universe, in the view of people in Augustine and Constantine’s time.

      We now know that earth, and hence WE, are not the center of the universe. We need to get over ourselves, and finally realize that God does not exist in the east, ad orientum, but exists, for us and for our benefit, everywhere and all around us.

      • “WE, are not the center of the universe” Liberals think they are….Seriously YFC its a matter of tradition and rubrics, but to liberals tradition is something to be destroyed and replaced with whatever they want

      • Ann Malley says:

        By the very nature of what you wrote you indicate that you believe that ‘man’ is not only the center of the universe, but the very basis for the existence of God Almighty Himself, YFC.

        “…We now know that earth, and hence WE, are not the center of the universe. We need to get over ourselves, and finally realize that God does not exist in the east, ad orientum, but exists, for us and for our benefit, everywhere and all around us.”

        God does not need us to exist. This mentality, if I’m understanding you correctly, does have its root in modernism which, if I was reading that lovely definition from Anonymous on another thread, would indicate that modernists do not base Faith on revealed Truths, but rather on what emanates from man and his shifting ‘needs.’

  7. Steve Phoenix says:

    Excellent, YFC, I can depend on you for a perfect example of modernism in statement and thought. Then we really should also “update” our belief in the Ascension (what an old wives’ tale, that, “Jesus ascended” to heaven), and the Assumption too (what pre-scientific nonsense, these scripture fables), and (as Raymond A Brown asserted) there were no Magi from the East nor could they be “following a star”, and in fact, based on text- and form- criticism (excellent scientific and indisputable sources, they) the whole infancy narratives of the Gospels are fake. Very good, YFC, we should discard all of tradition (that stupid old S. Augustine, what a fool he was). WE KNOW SO MUCH TODAY!! :)

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Yes, to the extent that Heaven is not UP and Hell is not DOWN, yes it is true that the word Ascension does not refer to a direction. These facts of nature do not, however, make me a modernist.

      • Steve Phoenix says:

        Ahhh. I see, YFC: “ascend/ascension” does not refer to a direction. So, what does “descend” refer to? Or: Isn’t it uncomfortable to try to maintain this tortuous illogic? (Yes) Shouldnt one be careful about dismissing Augustine’s tradition based on today’s smug “scientific knowledge”, Copernican or not? (Yes) Shouldn’t one admit that this fits the definition of modernism: (Pascendi. no. 16: “Hence should it be further asked whether Christ has wrought real miracles, and made real prophecies, whether He rose truly from the dead and ascended into Heaven, the answer of agnostic science [i.e. modernism] will be in the negative and the answer of faith in the affirmative .” ) The modernist will say that Christ did not “rise’ nor “ascend” , nor should Augustine say that “we turn to the East” to pray.) Also, S Pius X, Pascendi. n 19: “…the way is opened for us to consider the Modernists in the theological arena -…It is a question of effecting the conciliation of faith with science, but always by making the one subject to the other.” This is what is being said by this modernist opinion, that “science” trumps tradition and scripture, we can change anything because “we know better nowadays…” :) Ha!

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          I think that Vatican II and subsequent Popes, especially Paul and John Paul II did a very good job of reconciling science and faith. They are not at odds with one another. And the Church, in her wisdom, has admitted that it ought not to pretend to be the arbiter of things scientific.

          So knowing as we do cosmology, and given that you insist that to go to hell involves a physical decent, where exactly would you like to place it? In earth’s mantle? in it’s core? somewhere near Jupiter? And if, for example, one dies in San Francisco and decends to hell, is that the same hell that one decends to when they die on the other side of the planet? Do they meet in the middle? Or does a journey to hell from San Francisco mean that someone from the other side of the earth must ascend in order to get there? I would simply say that heaven and hell are most certainly real, but cannot be located by reference to up or down, at least not in a physical sense.

          It is not modernism to say that physical reality must impinge upon our understanding of faith. The Resurrection, the Ascension and the Assumption are theological mysteries, and we are bound by them as part of the deposit of faith. We are not, however, bound to believe that there is a physical movement in an x-y-z plane from a point on earth to some point vertically from there.

          We are not children, to be captivated by silly notions of going up to heaven or down to hell. No, we are adults, who must reconcile the poetic descriptions of theological realities with hard cold science. And if we are ever to make sense of these realities for our unfaithful brothers and sisters, indeed to evangelize them, we must ourselves be mature in our own faith and become intelligent adults who are capable of holding onto mystical realities in a very physical world.

          • Steve Phoenix says:

            I think YFC understands the point, that figurative/ theological language is not to be changed, and especially not by “scientific advancement”, which as shown above from Pascendi, is modernism pure and simple. However, previously he averred that the reason to dispense with Ad Orientem liturgical posture was because of “modern science”, “Copernicus”—utterly irrelevant. Faith is not subject to science (Pascendi. n. 19, quoted above), and to hold that is prima facie modernism.

          • Western Schnieder says:


            What you teach is not the Catholic Faith.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            So Steve, how can God be to the East of both Jerusalem and New York and Shanghai all at the same time?

  8. Ah, Canisius, it is hard to know where to start. We both know that it is the work of the Church, Christ on earth, to help us save our souls. Because Christ died for our sins, we must work to better the work of our companions on the journey. But, that is a far, far distance from a social agency. Of course, the church has agencies that aid us in the social area. Of course. The Mass is the Mass, no matter which form is used. No need to discuss that. I don’t want to toil for those who don’t want to help themselves either. Reality today, however, is that we have been in a huge recession that has put a large number of people out of work. There are a large number out of work, homeless and unable to compete in the modern world who should be in institutions that can take care of them rather than let them rot in the doorways of our main street. OK, I must say that I don’t hear much fire and brimstone from the pulpit either. DIGNITATIS HUMANAE, is the Church’s statement on religious freedom. I want that. The other document states that we should have good relations with other religions who share, at least in part, our faith.
    I have always lived up to the Catechism that states that we should treat gay people with respect. I have never mocked the TLM. I have simply stated that I prefer Mass in my language rather than in Latin, and that both forms of the Mass are of equal value for salvation.

    • Steve Phoenix says:

      Does not Dignitatis Humanae (“Religious Liberty” declaration of V2) also therefore permit “freedom of conscience” to the SSPX, the CMRI, each sedes vacantist and every other traditional group that some above gleefully call “schismatic,” Bob One et al.? If not, I wonder why not?

      • Not gleefully. Luke 19:10

      • Ann Malley says:

        Thanks for drawing attention to this obvious inconsistency, Steve. Anonymous posters have done nothing but try to school me about SSPX Kool Aid while supposedly saying they are in full communion and follow the teachings of the unbroken magisterium. If they did truly follow the supposedly clear teachings of VII, then they would be welcoming of SSPX on the basis of DIGNITATIS HUMANAE.

        They are not. That is why I will continually question their claim to orthodoxy. That said, thank you Bob One, for stating your viewpoints boldly by way of a name. It is sincerely appreciated.

        As for ‘gleefully’, quote scripture if you’d like, but look to the Parish level for that which is actually taught.

        • First, the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessedness. We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you” (Matt. 28: 19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.
          This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.
          Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.
          Dignitatis Humanae

          • Steve Phoenix says:

            I agree with almost everything Anonymous claims about Dignitatis Humanae (DH) except that he says”religious freedom…has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society.” DH is not limited to civil society, but actually very specifically speaks of the religious freedom within groups of believers. N. 10: “10. It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man’s response to God in faith must be free: no one therefore is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his own will.” A person is “under no compulsion” to believe a particular tenet: ” God calls men to serve Him in spirit and in truth, hence they are bound in conscience but they stand under no compulsion.” ( n. 11) and “It is therefore completely in accord with the nature of faith that in matters religious every manner of coercion on the part of men should be excluded. ” no. 10. “Nevertheless, the doctrine of the Church that no one is to be coerced into faith..” N. 12) My point: DH applies to matters of faith within the Church, if you read it with any fairness. Why does not religious freedom extend to the SSPX, CMRI and other traditionalist groups? Because Liberal Catholics say it doesnt?

  9. “I have always lived up to the Catechism that states that we should treat gay people with respect” you are positive ie you believe that gays you should allow to “marry” Does your so called “respect” for gays allow laws suits against people who will not bow down to the gay thugs?

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