Featured Stories

A century of Scherzingers at Brooklyn's Sacred Heart


COURTESY OF THE SCHERZINGER FAMILY - This is the wedding portrait from the very first wedding in this remarkable century-long series involving the Scherzinger family of Brooklyn. Here we see Bertha Scherzinger and Charles Lair, on their wedding day, July 10, 1916. Julia Scherzinger and Anthony DeSimone were married at Sacred Heart Church in the Brooklyn neighborhood on May 14 of this year. Not an unusual event in itself. But, the bride’s mother, Clair Carder, told THE BEE that this is the 24th Scherzinger wedding performed at the same church over the past 100 years. The family has kept diligent records, and observes that all the couples were from Brooklyn and Sellwood.

Bertha Scherzinger and Charles Lair, the first couple in this series, married on July 10, 1916. Family photos show different styles of wedding dress through the years. “There was one double wedding among the couples – that was in June of 1948,” says Carder. “The grooms were Robert and Richard Scherzinger. Their brides wore suits, and carried bouquets.”

“One of the nice things about a wedding is celebrating a new couple joining the family,” she continues. “But the fun part is relatives telling old family stories. We learned that the bride’s grandfather grew up in Brooklyn speaking German. His family’s home was demolished when McLoughlin Boulevard was built.”

Sacred Heart Church held its own Centennial in 1993. Over the years, Sacred Heart School and Convent have come and gone, as have many pastors. Perhaps the most memorable was Father Gregory Robl, who joined in 1903, and guided the parish for 41 years.

The Parish Hall, built in 1912, was named for him; but Gregory Hall was demolished in 2005 to construct Sacred Heart Villa. In 1922, Father Gregory leased the Hall and adjacent lot to Kiser Studios to produce silent films! The sandlot at S.E. Milwaukie Avenue & Center Street was used as a set for four films. One of these – “Flames” –featured young actors Jean Hersholt and Boris Karloff – both in Portland to make a movie, right were Meals On Wheels are served and delivered now.

Members of the Scherzinger family have served in many positions at Sacred Heart, and many went to school there. John Scherzinger was Choirmaster; and Aly Scherzinger was Parish Accountant for over 50 years. Herbert Scherzinger, a Marine, died in the Korean War. Sacred Heart Church has been important in much of the family's history, and now the remarkable family history there is part of the public record, in THE BEE.