Meet Sister Bernadette (Bernadette Marie) Garcia

Bernadette Garcia’s first grade teacher at Notre Dame Elementary School, San Francisco, was Sr. Matilda Carmel. She decided that Sister’s dress was very pretty, especially her beads, and Sr. Bernie, as she now is known, decided there and then that she wanted a dress and beads like that!  And who can deny that a Call can come in many mysterious ways!  Sister also said that from the beginning she felt the good spirit of the school.

Sister’s career in education included Notre Dame and parish elementary schools in California with the exception of the six very happy years at St. Mark’s School in Seattle. The people there were wonderful to work with, and the '70s were a time when changes were taking place in the Church and the Congregation—a time of openness and new vision.

She also enjoyed teaching at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Salinas for over 11 years. Although she has taught every grade, her favorite teaching assignment is kindergarten. She loves the age, loves the spontaneity of the children. There is never a dull moment and there are laughs every day!  Betty Dolan, a friend from St. John’s, Folsom, mother of four sons, affirms how great Sr. Bernie is with kids, conscientious, with a great sense of humor, resourceful and creative.

Principal Crissy Grul and Sr. Bernie Garcia at Moreland Notre Dame School in 2013.

From 2004 to 2006 Sister served on the staff of the House of Prayer in Carmel.  While she loved the beauty of the place, she realized that she missed the children and the teaching and went to Morland Notre Dame School to do what she loved best—teaching!

Sister is now retired, and lives at the Province Center in Belmont.


  1. Hi Bernadette,
    My sister, Pam, said to say hello to any of her classmates who came to our ND reunion in SF April 7th, but no one from her (your) class was there. We had 17 and 4 husbands from our class of 1960. I live in Alaska (51 years) and have 6 kids and 6 grandkids. Pam is in NY with 2 kids and 3 grandkids. We will get together in July with all of our families in Seattle.
    Much Love, Linda and Pam Leeson

    1. Thanks, Linda and Pam, for your greetings! We'll make sure your message reaches Sr. Bernie.


  2. Hi, Sr Bernie, and both Linda Leeson O'Brien and Pam Leeson Sroka! I couldn't make it to this year's April reunion, but hope for an opportunity to do so next year. I remember all of you fondly.
    Carol Cunningham (vda. de Ruiz). '61 NDSF, '65 CND.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *