Fr. David Reichling OFM, Cap.
I have been with St. Bernard’s as Pastor since 1982 and St. Cyril & Methodius parish in Ballantine since 1988. I came with the expectation of staying a couple years until the new church was built, but lo and behold, I am still here enjoying so many people & Montana.
I am a member of the St. Joseph Province of Capuchin-Franciscans, headquartered in Detroit & one of 9 Capuchins assigned to ministry in Montana from Broadus to Billings, and we gather regularly for prayer and fellowship.
I came here from St. Joe parish in Appleton, Wisconsin, where I was an associate pastor for four years. The parish was 35 miles from my hometown, Fond du Lac, where I grew up with seven siblings, one of whom is also a Capuchin priest in Billings. I was ordained in 1967.
A great joy for me is sharing weekend Eucharist; another is sharing those special moments of joy, and sometimes pain too, in the lives of so many people, with marriages, births & baptisms, first communions, anniversaries, achievements in work & school and sports, reconciliation’s and transitions. Folks open their lives so generously to pastoral attention in the significant moments of their lives. I also enjoy the big sky, sunny dry climate and wide-open spaces of Montana. One of my enjoyable past times is short trips to the mountains and forests with my troop of small dogs.
Bookkeeper / Business Manager
Laurie joined our staff in April of 2014 as Bookkeeper. She and husband Frank have been members of St. Bernard’s since 1978. They were married in 1977 and moved to Billings from South Dakota. They met teaching school in Iroquois, SD. Their 4 children were raised in this parish and have scattered across the country. Frank and Laurie have helped with the youth programs as teachers and volunteer in many capacities. They enjoy spending time with their 8 grandbabies when they can. The Ewalt’s own and manage a self-storage rental company, south Shepherd Storage, and Ewalt Construction, a concrete construction business. Laurie does the bookkeeping for both. Her higher education includes a B.S. degree in Home Economics and SDSU and an accounting and administrative certificate from Billings Public Schools Adult Education.
Mary Strauss joined the parish staff December 1, 2006. She greets visitors; answers questions or directs them to the proper people; handles the telephones and mail; schedules Mass Intentions, records marriages, baptisms, first communions and confirmations in the record books and sends out proper certificates. She emails reminder notes to those who are scheduled as ministers each week and parish council meeting announcements. Mary has been a member of St. Bernard’s for since 1982. She currently is chair for The Worship and Liturgy Committee, is a wedding assistant, a sacristan, lector and helps out where needed. She has also been a part of the music, taught CCD, headed up RCIA, among a few things.
Mary’s hobbies include photography and sports. She is also involved with Cum Christo and Homeward Bound (ministry at the Women's Prison).
Before joining the parish staff she had been in dentistry for 23 years as an assistant and receptionist. She was born in Missoula, MT and raised in Polson, MT. She graduated from Polson High School and Montana State University – Bozeman, with a degree in teaching. She enjoys traveling back to the Flathead Valley for visits and returning to her roots and what she calls “God’s Country.”
Donna Choriki-Ayers has been a music director in the Diocese of Great Falls Billings for approximately 17 years. She was at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral and then at Holy Rosary and Little Flower Churches for the past 13 years. My position here at St. Bernard’s includes planning the music for all Masses, preparing the weekly music sheets, directing the children’s choir, the Sunday Choir and playing the piano and singing. I am also involved in many diocesan events such as ordinations, Chrism Mass, workshops in the area or where ever I am needed. My husband and I have 6 children, ranging from 14 to 28 years old. We have 2 that attend school in the heights at Castlerock and Skyview HS.
We also have 4 grandchildren, so far. We live in the “extreme heights” almost to Shepherd, with our horses, dogs, cats, and chickens.I am involved with both Venture Theatre and Billings Studio Theatre as a Music Director for musical productions, and have private piano students in my spare time.
DRE / Youth Minister
Brian Shea serves as the DRE and the youth minister here at St. Bernard’s Church. He has been here since 2003 and is in charge of the 5th/6th Grade, Junior High, and High School Youth Groups here at the church. Besides working for St. Bernard’s Church Brian puts on retreats for Billings Central and helps run the Search program. He also occasionally helps work some of the Cum Christo weekends.
Brian graduated high school from Billings Central in 1998 and graduated college from Gonzaga University in 2002. While at Gonzaga he got a major in Religious Studies and minors in History, Sociology, Philosophy, and a Certificate of Youth Ministry. After graduating from Gonzaga, Brian headed to Maine for a year and worked at a homeless shelter and crisis hotline for the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. In the summer of 2006 Brian got married to Erica and the two of them had their first child Grace in April of 2008 and Connor joined them in 2011.
Brian has plenty of experience working in youth ministry. While at Gonzaga he also was the director of the junior high and high school youth groups at St. Aloysius Church for three years, director of Gonzaga’s annual Pilgrimage Retreat for two years, and led a Bible Study all four years. Brian also spent two summers working for the Diocese of Helena as a counselor at Legendary Lodge in 2001 and 2002.
Brian’s interests other than work and family are reading, all sports, board games, road trips and anything that gets him outdoors in God’s creation.
Children’s Faith Formation Director
St. Bernard’s Church would like to welcome Tim McDonald as the new director for the children’s K-4 faith formation program. Tim grew up in St. Bernard’s Church and was an active member of the faith formation and youth groups. He has been a volunteer with VBS, youth retreats, youth group, and many of the family fun events held at the church over the years. While in college Tim studied Business and took many Religion classes from the University of Montana. For the past year, Tim has been part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corp in Connecticut. He has been teaching kids kindergarten through junior high and running an after school program where he works with volunteers and parents.
Adult Faith Formation (RCIA)
Roy has been a member of St. Bernard parish since 1995 with his wife Kari and their two children; Cody and Brady. Roy and Kari are native Montanans and enjoy the beauty of the Big Sky. When not taking care of their busy family schedule, Roy enjoys golfing, reading and gathering with friends and family. Roy is also the General Manager for Billings Catholic Radio, KJCR. Kari is an avid book reader, enjoys scrap booking and entertaining friends and family. Cody is a graduate of Billings Central Catholic High School and is attending Montana State where he plans to receive his degree in Physics and Math. Brady is a Junior at Billings Central and stays busy with cheer leading, dance and hanging out with friends. Roy and his family are active in the parish community of St. Bernard with Roy serving as a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, and Sacristan before taking the role of Director of the RCIA program. Kari is a member of the funeral meal ministry and leads the Haiti Committee with an annual medical mission trip to Haiti. Brady is a volunteer for our Sunday School classes.
Priscilla Moorhouse has been the Parish Nurse Coordinator since 2000. She had retired from School District #2 that spring after 17 years as a school nurse. They moved to Billings from Worland, WY, with 3 children in 1984. Her early years of nursing include floor nurse at St.Vincent's, Public health nurse for the Division of Indian Health at Ft. Washakie, WY and substitute teacher in Worland. She married John, traveled to several other Indian Reservations, and raised 3 children, Judd, Jennie and Mary -Margret. The Moorhouses have been at St. Bernard's for 25years now, active in parish living as past council member, pro-life, CCD teacher and lector. Her favorite time is spent spoiling the 13 grandchildren, fishing, gardening, reading and people.
Janitorial / Housekeeping
Don started as the custodian at St. Bernard’s around 1996. He does the general cleaning and maintenance of the church. Don has been married to Ellen for 50 years and they have 3 adult children,14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. They are charter members of St. Bernard’s. Don and Ellen like to travel and go camping. But mostly just enjoy spending time with their family.
Janitorial / Housekeeping
Kathy joined our staff in August 2013 as part of the janitorial team. She joined the parish in 1987. She has worked as a Dental Hygienist in Billings since 1985. In 2009 she went to Massage Therapy School and became a Licensed Massage Therapist. Presently she works with tow Dentists, the church and has her private massage business. At the Church Kathy is also involved with the Liturgy Committee, the RCIC program, CCF program and Secular Franciscans.