st. bridget.riverfalls.060216St. Bridget
211 E. Division Street
River Falls, WI 54022
Phone: 715-425-1870
Year parish was established: 1887
Number of households: 1,750
Pastor: Fr. Jerry Harris
Deacons: Larry Hennemann, Tom Weiss
Weekend Masses: Saturday: 5 p.m.; Sunday: 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Describe your faith community
“St. Bridget is a growing, multi-generational faith community. We welcome students who call the University of Wisconsin — River Falls and Chippewa Valley Technical College home. Additionally, our parish school offers a place for our youngest members to grow in their faith. Our current church was built in 1984. We underwent an addition and remodeling project in 2006 to accommodate our rapidly growing faith community. We are a family of believers working together to share the Gospel and learn more about our faith together.”

 “When visitors come to our parish, they will …
… feel a warm welcome offered by our pastor, Fr. Jerry, and our members. Visitors will feel a strong sense of community and recognize how our church truly is a family. They will be amazed by the beautiful use of music in our liturgies. Additionally, our use of technology serves as a way to enhance the liturgy and increase awareness of our church events. Visitors often comment on our attractive and spacious building, which functions not only for our church community, but also provides opportunities for the River Falls community as a whole.”

In what way(s) does your parish proclaim the Gospel with its actions?
“St. Bridget plays an active role in proclaiming the Gospel through actions with our own members and with the greater River Falls community. Our church is host to Tuesday Banquet and Soup and Bread Meals which are free community meals to help feed those who are physically hungry, but also to feed their souls. We also have an active jail ministry which serves the St. Croix County Jail through Bible studies and prayer with inmates. Within our parish, we work to proclaim the Gospel through our adult and youth faith formation programs, parish library, monthly senior gatherings, and numerous opportunities for spiritual growth. In summary – we preach the Gospel; we wash feet.”

What is something about your parish most people might not know?
“St. Bridget has been making our own doughnuts since 1972, when parishioners decided to purchase our first doughnut maker and sell doughnuts as a fundraiser for the church. Teams of parishioners arrive at the church around 3 a.m. on Sunday to make around 1,440 doughnuts each weekend during the school year. We make several varieties, including frosted (chocolate, white, and maple), sugared, and the traditional plain. Doughnut makers and sellers volunteer about once every six weeks to help keep the doughnut making tradition and fellowship it provides alive at St. Bridget.”