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About Our Parish

Parish Mission Statement

Saint Bridget of Kildare, a Roman Catholic parish,
exists to live and to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We welcome all as we reach out to the entire community 
through prayer, sacrament, education and support.

 

 

Parish Prayer

God our Father, we thank You for the countless graces You bestow upon Your people under the patronage of St. Bridget of Kildare.  We ask that you bless our community of faith. Bless our parish priests; make them holy shepherds.  Bless our parish lay leaders; fill them with wisdom.  Bless our parish ministries; inspire the spirit of true service.  Bless our parish school; make it a home for learning and a seedbed of faith.  Bless our parish families; strengthen the bonds between each of their members.  Bless the home of each parishioner; let our earthly dwelling place mirror the light and joy of our eternal home in heaven.  As we honor our past and celebrate our future, keep us faithful in the work of the Gospel. We pray through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Written on the occasion of the 50th Jubilee by Father Robert W. Wisniewski, Jr., third Pastor of St. Bridget of Kildare Parish

 

History

St. Bridget Church was originally founded as a mission of St. John, the Evangelist Cathedral. In 1857, the Irish Catholics in the vicinity of Woodland Avenue and Perry Street formed an organization to establish a new church. The Depression proved to be too great a challenge for the generosity of the people of St. Bridget and, in 1938, the diocese made the decision to merge the parish with St. Anthony Church. The combined parishes struggled financially and when plans for a new inner belt freeway (now I-77) were proposed, the diocese made the decision to close the parishes.

In the 1950’s, the diocese recognized the growing need for a new parish in the Parma area. Fifteen acres of low, swampy land between Hauserman Road and Queens Highway was purchased for $15,000.00. On June 7, 1956, Rev. Theodore J. Blair was appointed to establish the new parish of St. Bridget of Kildare. One hundred fifty members of St. Charles were designated to become parishioners of the new church.

Fr. Blair retired on February 22, 1976, and the parish welcomed its second pastor, Rev Lawrence J. Bayer. Fr. Bayer dedicated twenty-nine years to the parish until his retirement on January 31, 2005.

Rev. Robert W. Wisniewski, Jr. was appointed the third pastor of St. Bridget of Kildare Parish on February 1, 2005 (the feast day of our Patroness).

It is through the faithfulness and generosity of so many people in the community that, over 57 years later, St. Bridget of Kildare Parish continues to thrive today in the Parma area.

 

 

Our Patroness

Bridget of Kildare was born around the year 450. Her parents were baptized by Saint Patrick, with whom she developed a close friendship. Even as a young girl, Bridget showed an interest in religious life and became a nun. She founded a monastery and was Abbess of the convent, the first in Ireland. The foundation developed into a center of learning and spirituality, and around it grew the Cathedral City of Kildare. Bridget also founded a school of art at Kildare and its illuminated manuscripts became famous, notably the Book of Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

 

St. Bridget Cross

Legend tells us that, while explaining the Passion to her father, a dying pagan, St. Bridget was meditating and began weaving a cross made from the river rushes, the thatch growing along the banks of the River Shannon. Rushes were the common floor material that covered an Irish home. Her father saw the cross and asked her to explain its meaning. After Bridget explained the cross’ significance, her father wanted to join the Church and, before he died, he was baptized by St. Patrick.

Today, people place a cross of Saint Bridget in their homes and farm buildings believing that, with their faith, it protects them and their animals from evil and deprivation.

The most common shape of the Cross of Saint Bridget has interwoven patterns and unaligned arms. These crosses, woven of rushes or straw, were placed under rafters of houses to ensure good health and fortune for the coming year.

Bridget was one of the most remarkable women of her times, and is remembered by her extraordinary spirituality, boundless charity and compassion for those in distress.