The follow history was published in the 1976 souvenir program celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the parish:
The History of St. Birgitta Parish
At that time there was another Catholic family who deserves much credit for their work for St. Birgitta’s. Mr. William O'Brien, who lived in the Willbridge district, which belonged to St. Birgitta's Parish, with his son, Alfred, and three daughters, Mabel (Mrs. Herbert F. Thomas of Portland), Frances, (Mrs. George Hill of Tacoma), and Vera (Mrs. Paul Miller of Portland). Mr. O'Brien had the Railway Equipment Shop in Willbridge. He and his three daughters with Irene Bodway as organist, and her mother Mrs. Bodway comprised the Church Choir. Mr. O'Brien installed the gas heating in the church and the hall, as well as a gas range in the hall kitchen. Since St. Birgitta Church and hall were built on stilts, Mr. O'Brien had the basement enclosed making a fine third story under the church hall. This was accomplished during the pastorate of Fr. V. Healy, O.S.M. At the request of the City of Portland, a septic tank had to be installed since there was no sewer system in Linnton. Mr. O'Brien paid for all this, too.
Fr. V. Healy, O.S.M. left St. Birgitta in the Fall of 1918, and Father Hyacinth Wiecorik, O.S.M. replaced him. He obtained a car through the help of parishioners, especially of Mr. W. O'Brien, who contributed a substantial sum for it.
On June 1, 1918 Father Charles M. Smith was appointed pastor of St. Patrick and not long after, St. Birgitta was served by the Priests from St. Patrick. Father (now Msgr.) Theodore Bernards, being assistant to Father Smith, worked also at St. Birgitta's. He was responsible for transporting the children by bus from Linnton to St. Patrick' s school.
On June 24, 1927 Father Smith left St. Patrick's and became pastor at St. Anthony's for the second time. However, for a while, after leaving St. Patrick's, he went to St. Birgitta’s and lived in the Church hall. Mr. John Kovach still remembers how Father Smith had a couch in the hall, which he used for his bed, too. He would go on mission trips and come back to St. Birgitta. No doubt, his mission trips were made to St. Anthony's. When Father Smith moved out, a priest from the Midwest, Father Burkel, was sent to St. Birgitta by Father Black, who was in charge of the Archdiocese while Archbishop Christie was ill. He remained at St. Birgitta for about two years. He had his own car and served St. Birgitta and North Plains. He converted the hall under the church into living quarters spending about $2.000.00. Since he had Mass at St. Birgitta's at 8 O'clock in the morning, and then went to North Plains for the second Mass at 10 or 11a.m., many people of St. Birgitta, not being willing to get up so early on Sundays, went to Mass at St. Patrick, or the Cathedral in their own cars, or to St. Stanislaus by street car, which traveled from the city center via Mississippi Ave. To make it possible for Father Burkel to live at St. Birgitta, the people pledged $5.00 a month for his support, but many moved and confusion took place, as is often the case when there is a question of money.
Fr. George Dum, C.S.C.
For a while St. Birgitta Parish was served by Father William Hampson, Pastor of St. Cecilia (now Queen of Peace). He had one Mass at St. Cecilia and a second Mass at St. Birgitta. Mr. William Theis, a parishioner of St. Birgitta, used to transport him in his car by way of the Ferry across the river before the St. Johns Bridge was opened in 1933. After Father Hampson, St. Birgitta was served by the Holy Cross Fathers from the University of Portland some time before 1930. Mr. Theis remembers bringing them in his car on the Ferry before the Bridge was opened. Father Michael Muicaire, C.S.C., Father Robert Sweeney, C.S.C., Father James Fogarty, C.S.C., Father John Hooyboer, C.S.C., and Father George Dum, C.S.C. used to work at St. Birgitta's prior to 1938. Mrs. Dorothy Hanson still remembers how people used to walk to church on Sundays and for Lenten devotions. The church, being small, always looked full.
At St. Birgitta's the Pastors had taken care of finances. However, in the late Twenties, when a Trustee System was formed, a Board of Directors was elected by the people. There were five members: Mr. William Theis, secretary-treasurer, Mr. John Dodak, Mr. J. Kovach, Mr. Herman Bishel, and Mrs. Andy Ballas. During the term of Mr. Theis, the exterior of the church was painted, partly with free labor, partly paid for. In 1934, when Mr. Theis quit the office, Mr. John Kovach took charge of financial affairs of the parish with the help of Mr. Edward Kost, as secretary. During 1936 and 1937 a new addition to the original church was built, enlarging the capacity of the church, and changing the shape. The extended church was officially dedicated in November of 1937, as Mr. John Kovach remembers.
The cost of the addition to the original building was about $10,000.00. To provide money Mr. John Kovach, Mr. John Dodak, and Mr. Andy Ballas collected money from parishioners of Slovak.descent, while Mr. Edward Kost and Father M. Mulcare went to see other Catholic families. Mr. John Kovach, with the approval of Archbishop Howard, was conducting the building project, paying all the bills, as the financial records still kept by him prove.
At the time Mr. Kovach took over, the financial condition was poor. The Parish still owed to the Fathers of the University of Portland the sum of $700.00 for previous service. In order to help the situation, Mr. J. Kovach was instrumental in changing the meeting place of the members of the Slovak Catholic Lodge from St. Patrick's hall to St. Birgitta. To make it more solemn, the Lodge invited Father Zalud, of Czech descent, pastor in Scappoose, to bless the banners of the Slovak Lodge. Since he was about 70 years old and thought that St. Wenceslaus Parish in Scappoose was too big for him, he indeed wanted to take over St. Birgitta. Meanwhile, he died and he never became pastor of St. Birgitta.
Members of the Slovak Lodge organized dances in Scappoose and used the proceeds to help St. Birgitta, St. Patrick and the Lodge itself. While Mr. John Kovach was in charge of finances, between the years 1934 and 1950, he paid all the bills and left $2000.00 in the bank.