The Catholic St. Bernardís Parish in Breda, Iowa, split off from the district of the Mt. Carmel Parish in early 1879, and was administered for a year as a branch parish from Carroll. The Rev. Father W. F. Pape is mainly credited with having founded the parish, with building the simple church, and holding therein the temporary mission services. In 1880, Father J. Norton was sent as pastor to the stations along the new M. R. [Mapleton or Maple River?] branch line, and he brought religious services to Breda, Wall Lake, Odebolt and Ida Grove. He chose Breda as his residence, laid out the churchyard in 1881, and developed the church into a self-supporting parish made up of about 60 families. In October 1882, Father C. L. Schulte was sent as the first resident priest, and he shepherded the parish until his death on 27 September 1897. Under his guidance, a rectory was purchased, a temporary school and a convent were built, then a new Gothic-style church was built at a
cost of about $17,000, for which the cornerstone was laid on 17 June 1888, and in which the first religious services were held on 25 December. The old church was remodeled into a parochial school. In 1886, Father Schulte built a private rectory and purchased a house and lot for a convent, and introduced a choir service with organ accompaniment, as well as other things. During Father Schulteís long and very painful illness with tongue cancer, Father Jac. Engels and Father J. H. Stromberg were appointed as administrators at various times. After the death of Father Schulte, whose spiritual work will forever be remembered by the parish, Father J. Anler was then appointed as priest of the parish. Under his management, the parish purchased the residence of the deceased [Father Schulte] as a future residence for the priests, and the cost of the convent and parish real estate were covered by a pious donor. Father Anler also oversaw the building of the beautiful stone ďMother of GodĒ chapel, and made many other improvements.
About 170 families belong to the parish, which are mainly German except for nine Dutch and seven Irish families. In the church archives of the parish, one finds the records of 136 couples who were married at the altar. The first couple was Frank Lancaster of Virginia and Miss Rosa Kary [or possibly Carey] of Michigan, who were married on 14 August 1880. The first married couple from the parish were Mr. A. Stork and Miss Theresia Lengeling, married on 5 October 1880. In the baptism book are noted 967 baptisms. The first child baptized was Mathilda M. Jacobi from Odebolt on 4 July 1880. The first child baptized from the parish was Johann F., son of Mr. and Mrs. B. Knobbe, on 1 August 1880. There are about 261 graves in the cemetery, from infants to old men, who lie in wait for their future resurrection. The first child [buried there] was from the family of B. Wessling, on 15 December 1881. The first adult [buried there] was Mrs. Wm. Lammerding on 25 March 1882.
NOTES: St. Bernardís is in Breda, about 10 or 12 miles northwest of Carroll.