March 1, 2023 | Local News, Your Stories
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

The architect’s rendition of the new building. COURTESY OF ST. MARY OF THE WOODS PARISH

It’s about more than a building

​Trinity, St. Mary’s, begin rebuilding campaign


You may have recently heard some exciting news for St. Mary of the Woods Parish in Whitesville – a new school building for St. Mary of the Woods School and Trinity High School! While the prospect of a new building is exciting, ask anyone at St. Mary of the Woods Parish and they’ll tell you that this is about so much more than just a building.

You only realize how important the building is once you think about what goes on inside the building.  Students get a quality education to prepare them for whatever they want to do in life. But students also have time for prayer, self-reflection, and spiritual growth. Students start every single day in prayer. They go to Mass every week. They have opportunities for adoration, confession, prayer days, retreats. These things simply don’t happen in a public school setting. Inside the building, students learn and grow, all in a faith-filled environment. These schools are making disciples of Christ, and future servant-leaders of the community.

You only realize how important the building is once you know what comes out of the building. If you know anyone who has been a student at either of these schools, then you know firsthand what comes out of these schools. As an employer myself or while serving on boards with other business leaders, anytime Trinity or St. Mary’s is mentioned, only positive comments follow about the quality work ethic and character exhibited by alumni of these schools. Students at these schools participate in a wide variety of sports and extracurricular activities. Our student athletes compete, but also show good sportsmanship and represent their school well.

You only realize how important the building is once you realize how important these schools are to this parish and community. Catholic education has been the mission of our parish for almost 150 years! I can’t even begin to think what our parish or the surrounding community would look like without these schools. These schools are our mission and our legacy, and they are about so much more than just a building.

The reality, however, is that we have to have a building! We need the physical structure in place to house everyone and everything it takes to carry out the mission. Our current buildings are aging with the maintenance becoming economically unfeasible. We are out of room to meet increasing enrollment.  A feasibility study conducted with the parish showed overwhelming support for building the new school. Many generous donors have pledged over $9 million toward the project that is estimated to cost $12-$15 million. We have made great strides to achieve our goal but need more help to make it a reality.

If you would be willing to support the construction of our new school building, please contact the St. Mary of the Woods Parish office at (270) 233-4196, or scan the QR code with this article, for online giving options. Please know that if you support this project, you are supporting so much more than just a building.

Terra Knight belongs to St. Mary of the Woods Parish in Whitesville.

Scan this code for online giving options for St. Mary of the Woods School and Trinity High School’s rebuilding campaign.

Originally printed in the March 2023 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

Current Issue

Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
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