Our Staff
Nuestro Equipo
Fr. Timothy Gallagher Pastor
Fr. Timothy Gallagher
Permanent Deacon
Diacono Permanente
Rev. Mr. Jose Orellana
Hispanic Ministry
Ministerio Hispano
Isabel Hernandez
Capital Campaing
Camapana Capital
All powerful and merciful Father, we thank you for your love and for providing our every need through Jesus Christ our Lord. We ask you to inspire us with your Holy Spirit at this historical moment in our parish, and bless the building of a new Parish Center for glory of God. Holy Mary, Mother of God, you appeared to San Juan Diego in Mexico as Our Lady of Guadalupe, and to St. Bernadette in France as Our Lady of Lourdes directing them both to build a chapel, so that future generations may gather for Christian worship, faith, and fellowship. We ask you to help us to do the same here in Cedadrtown, Georgia. 
St. Bernadette New Building Project
 St. Bernadette Building Plan Perspectives
St. Bernadette New Building Model
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Pastor's Welcome / Bienvenida del Pastor

We warmly welcome all parishioners and visitors to
St. Bernadette Catholic Church

Damos una calurosa bienvenida a todos nuestros
parroquianos y visitantes de St. Bernadette.



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Photo By Gibbs Frazeur Parishioners of St. Bernadette Church in Cedartown break ground for a new parish center May 7. Pastor Father Timothy Gallagher, at left, is joined by honorary groundbreakers Deacon Jose Orellana, parishioner Joyce Dekle, Tony Pizano, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Leonard Draper, Mac McAllister and Lissa Escutia, all members of the parish building committee. The expansion has been funded through the Special Projects Program of the Atlanta Archdiocese.

ATLANTA—Making room for everyone at the Lord’s table is the spirit behind a focused new program in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

The Special Projects Program is funding the expansion of basic worship and religious education space in a few uniquely challenged parishes whose churches cannot hold all those coming for Mass or faith education.

The program will currently address needs in three churches—one parish and two missions in Cedartown, Gainesville and Lilburn.

The Special Projects Program is a direct outcome of the 2015 Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan. However, the need first surfaced during a strategic planning process undertaken by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory in 2006.

“It’s a pretty long trail,” said Peter Faletti, retired director of planning for the archdiocese.

Faletti was a consultant for the North Highland Group when it was awarded the archdiocese’s strategic planning project. When the project ended in 2009, he became director of planning.

“Inside of that project, I interviewed all pastors,” said Faletti. “We went out into the field. We just let them talk, and they were very consistent.”

Faletti met with pastors initially in 2007. “It had never been done,” he explained.

Since then it has become a triennial review where priests can share issues confidentially with planning staff.


The congregation exits St. Bernadette Church, Cedartown, following the 10 a.m. English Mass on Sunday. The church holds just over 80 seats. Photo By Michael Alexander

With the growth of the archdiocese in the last decade, changing demographics, and record numbers of new Catholics, many parishes are bursting at the seams.

“Everyone was feeling the challenge of growth. Everyone was feeling, ‘we’re running out of space,’” said Faletti. “You can’t create a sense of community without a space to belong.”

Growth in some locations outran the physical facility available. Some parishes and missions didn’t have enough church for the congregation and virtually no funds in the bank to remedy the situation. Several were identified where people were standing at Mass with overflow space filled to capacity. Religious education programs were unable to serve scores of additional children.


The St. Bernadette Hispanic community currently holds its liturgies in a former storefront on South College Street in Cedartown. Photo By Michael Alexander

Relieving growing pains would take an inventiveness, which Archbishop Gregory underscored in the Pastoral Plan.

The fourth pillar of the plan was “Evolution of Our Parishes,” emphasizing the need to create welcoming environments for all cultures within parishes.

“We must reallocate the resources of the archdiocese in creative ways to find and support this expansion of facilities in our high growth areas,” wrote Archbishop Gregory. “To accomplish this, our archdiocese will need to provide both financial resources and support teams.”

Faletti called this an explicit statement from the archbishop, noting it was in bold type.

“He meant for it to be seen,” said Faletti. “We had super high growth areas without the ability to pay for what was needed.”

Responding creatively also brings out the unmet needs of fellow Catholics, he pointed out.

For example, St. Joseph Church in Dalton at one point rented space at a trailer park to help meet the spiritual needs of Catholics in its community. Later a former car dealership was procured for additional space for Masses. The result was a revelation.

“It was a very creative moment,” recalled Faletti. “Six weeks later, they were out of room.”

That’s when it occurred to him, “How many people are we not serving?”


Gilda Martinez, standing at the podium, a native of El Salvador, serves as lector during the 8 a.m. Sunday Spanish Mass earlier this year. St. Bernadette leases this space for the Spanish Masses. Photo By Michael Alexander

“Follow the Acts of the Apostles”

The first meeting of SPOC, the Special Projects Oversight Committee, was in the summer of 2015, after the spring unveiling of the Pastoral Plan.

Oversight committee members designed an application process and the criteria applicants had to demonstrate—at least one year of overcrowding at Mass and in religious education programs and minimal funds to pay for expanding.

The chief financial officer of the archdiocese, Brad Wilson, was tasked with identifying funds that could be made available for the projects identified by the committee.

After a review and consultation with the Archdiocesan Finance Council, a sizable $12 million pool of funds was repositioned to the Special Projects Program, said Wilson.

“I am blessed to be the CFO for the archdiocese, and most of my work revolves around the financial matters. My involvement in SPOC allowed me to become part of a group solving an insolvable problem,” he said. “How does a community with limited means ever raise enough money to build a facility? The answer: Follow the Acts of the Apostles and spread the Gospel. We are one church.”

This initiative is funded from a combination of sources, including the mission fund; the bequest from Joseph Mitchell, nephew of author Margaret Mitchell; sale of the house on Habersham Road briefly used as an archbishop’s residence; and liquidation of other assets as needed.

Parishes or missions approved for the Special Projects Program must raise 10 percent of the cost before the remainder is funded. Once projects are complete, the first Special Projects Program recipients will pay back into the fund so that other projects can begin. A monthly rent payment to the archdiocese will lead to eventual ownership of their building.

“As the first recipients of the SPOC funding replenish the fund, more communities can be helped,” said Wilson.

“If anyone wishes to donate to this fund, I am happy to assist,” he added.


In cramped quarters, religious education instructor Bethany Nevarez, sitting left, prays with her first-year, first Holy Communion class in one of three small rooms upstairs over the main church. Photo By Michael Alexander

Ensuring access to the sacraments

The first three recipients are St. Bernadette Church in Cedartown, St. John Paul II Mission in Gainesville, and Our Lady of the Americas Mission in Lilburn.

“I called this my World Bank project,” said Faletti, who drafted the special projects charter. “To me, that was the concept that was needed.”

The program is unique among dioceses in the United States.

“I don’t think anyone is doing it exactly how we’re doing it,” noted Faletti.

Catholic Construction Services Inc. staff, led by director John Schiavone, and outside consultants Greater Mission worked with building committees of applicant parishes and missions. In a 90-day process, they worked to ascertain the real need.

“It was a huge effort,” said Faletti.

St. Bernadette, a parish since the 1950s, has experienced phenomenal growth, primarily in the Hispanic community. It has just over 80 seats in its church. Father Timothy Gallagher is the pastor.

The parish, which already owned land for a future building, has been renting storefront space but still could not accommodate growth. Between 400 and 500 people squeeze into the rented space, which is in need of repairs, to attend Mass. They are not deterred.

“They want to be there,” said Faletti.

The retired planner grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and recalled when Cardinal Joseph Ritter announced that parishes without debt were going to help ones with debt. There was no discussion. Faletti’s childhood parish was debt-free. He remembers the pastor urging everyone to give an extra dollar for a while.

“That always stuck with me,” said Faletti. “We have a responsibility, and we need to do something about it.”

Although recipients will ultimately replenish the fund through payments, other donations will be accepted.

“I still think there are some opportunities to do fundraising for SPOC,” said Faletti.

Parishes with resources help missions in developing countries such as Haiti. He encourages strong communities to think about struggling parishes and missions that might be three counties away.

Before retiring last year, Faletti encouraged leaders to keep ahead of growth that will continue.

“If you think you’ve been growing, you have no idea,” he told them. “It’s going to put tremendous pressure on our priests. That’s why this process we put into place is so critical for the health of our archdiocese.”

If the diocese cannot provide access to the sacraments to all, “they’ll go somewhere else,” said Faletti. “It’s so basic and it’s so challenging.”

The pastoral and strategic planning processes gave Archbishop Gregory the unique opportunity to understand challenges.

“He made sure we responded,” said Faletti about the Special Projects Program. “It’s a good start, and I just hope it can grow.”


Survey Says!!!
Click to view Results of St. Bernadette Survey on Future Plans.
Presione aquí para ver los resultados de la encuesta del Plan de Futuro.

Youth Group/Grupo de Jovenes:
We invite all adolescents in the community who are in grades9 to 12 at the meeting of the Youth Group, Wednesday's at 6:00 PM at St. Bernadette Machan Hall. For more information about the group please contact Nancy Cruz
Invitamos a todos los adolescentes de la comunidad que estan en los grados del 9 al 12 a la reunion del Grupo Juvenil los Miercoles a las 6:00 PM en el salon Machan Hall de St. Bernadette. Para mas informacion sobre el Grupo puedes contactar a Nancy Cruz.

Interested in becoming Catholic? Sign-up for Rite of Cristian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). This class is for those who want to become Catholic but also for Christians who want to learn more about the Catholic Faith, or Catholics who want to grow in their faith. Call Fr. Timothy Gallagher 770-748-517 or email

Baptism Preparation July /
Platica Pre-bautismal de Julio:
Platica será el Domingo 16 de Julio a las 11:00 a.m.
En el Salón de Oración - Por Horacio Gonzalez
Platica será el Domingo 23 de Julio a las 11:00 a.m.
En el Salón de Oración - Por Rev. Mr. Jose Orellana
Platica será el Viernes 28 de Julio a las 7:00 pm.
En la parroquia - Por Cristobal Simon
Bautismos, Sábado 29 de Julio a las 11:30 AM 

Mission Statement / Declaración de Misión:
1) To celebrate a beautiful Sunday liturgy so the faithful may receive our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist.
2) Teach the Catholic Faith to our children and those who seek the Lord.
3) Reach out to those in need through works of charity.

1) Para celebrar una hermosa liturgia del domingo para que los fieles pueden recibir al Señor Jesús en la Eucaristía. 
2) Enseñar la fe católica para nuestros hijos y los que buscan al Señor. 
3) Llegar a los necesitados a través de obras de caridad.



Office Hours
Horas de Oficina
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Phone and Fax:
Mass Times 
Horario de Misas
Saturday Vigil
Vigilia Sábado
5:30 PM - English
8:00 AM - Español
Prayer Hall / Salón de Oración
10:00 AM  - English
Temple / Templo
12:30 PM - Español
Prayer Hall / Salon de Oración

9:00 AM - English
Wednesday Miércoles
7:15 PM - Español
9:00 AM - English
9:00 AM - English
First Friday
Primer Viernes
1:30 PM (Latin)
Temple / Templo

Confession Confesión
8:30 AM
Wednesday Miercoles
6:30 PM
8:30 AM
8:30 AM
4:00 PM
7:30 AM
12:00 PM
or by Appoitment
PastoralPlan Teaser webslide1

St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church
101 South College Street
Cedartown, GA 30125
(770) 748-1517
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