Holy Trinity School, Bloomington is renamed ‘Corpus Christi’

Photo Caption: Gwenn Roche, principal, and Kathy Wielend, president of the Advisory Commission on Education, applaud in the balcony after unfurling the banner proclaiming the school’s new name.

By: By Jennifer Willems

BLOOMINGTON — Corpus Christi. It is Latin for “the body of Christ” and as of Jan. 25, it is the new name for Holy Trinity School here.

The announcement was made by Father Anthony Lee, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish and Historic St. Patrick Parish in Bloomington, and Msgr. Gregory Ketcham, pastor of St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington and St. Mary Parish, Downs. It came during an open house at the elementary school campus and a spaghetti dinner to kick off Catholic Schools Week.

“It is the name that speaks of our shared ministry of different parish communities of our exceptional school,” Father Lee said. “In this place, where faith is nurtured and taught, where our sons and daughters are prepared to receive their First Holy Communion, in this place where devotion to our Lord in the Eucharist is fostered and lives are nourished with the bread of life, we are one body in Christ.”

Msgr. Ketcham said 93 names were submitted for consideration by students, teachers, parents and parishioners of the four parishes. Three were presented to Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, who made the final decision.

The applause and cheers when the banner with Corpus Christi Catholic School was unfurled made it clear that it was a popular choice.

“With all the other names we tried to make them fit, but it was the wrong shape going in the wrong hole,” principal Gwenn Roche told The Catholic Post.
“When we came up with this one it was like, well of course.”

The sports teams will continue to be known as the Saints, and the school has been entrusted to the patronage of St. Clare, which honors the history of Catholic education in Bloomington.

HONORING PAST, LOOKING AHEAD
Father Lee noted that that education started in 1858 with Boys’ Catholic School, which was located near Holy Trinity Church. Girls were admitted in 1873. When a new school was built in 1884, it was called St. Mary’s. That changed in 1928, when Trinity High School opened.

In 1963, Holy Trinity Parish built three new Catholic schools: Epiphany Catholic School in Normal, and St. Clare Catholic School on Lincoln Avenue, and Holy Trinity Catholic School on Roosevelt Street, both in Bloomington.

Father Lee said the original intent was to establish a new parish around St. Clare School, but plans changed when the new growth in Bloomington happened closer to the airport. Today St. Patrick Church of Merna, which was dedicated in 2006, serves 1,800 families.

The name of Trinity High School was changed to Central Catholic High School in 1968 to reflect its mission of serving all Catholic families in the Bloomington-Normal area, according to Father Lee.

While Holy Trinity School has served families from Holy Trinity, Historic St. Patrick and St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington and St. Mary in Downs for more than 20 years, it wasn’t until last June that a formal agreement was signed by the pastors of those parishes and Bishop Jenky that designated the school as a cooperative ministry, Msgr. Ketcham explained.

At that time it was decided that a new name was needed, Roche said. Helping to guide the community through the process was the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools.

“Bishop Jenky has always said that our Catholic schools are the result of the sacrifices and foresight of those who preceded us,” Dr. Sharon Weiss, superintendent of Catholic schools, said in a statement to The Post. “I am most grateful for the many ways that the parishioners . . . continue to make our bishop’s statement a lived reality.

“Certainly, the foresight of renaming the school to better encompass the educational needs of all four supporting parish families is reflective of the school’s mission: to help students take on the mind and heart of Jesus Christ throughout their life. And that, as superintendent of schools, gives me great joy,” she said.

AN EASY DECISION
While everyone started to use the new name right away, it will become official with the next school year. Signage at the elementary school and junior high school campuses will be changed to Corpus Christi Catholic School over the summer.

Roche likes the connection with St. Clare, who is depicted holding a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament in one of the stained glass windows in the school chapel.

“She was an instrument that God used. It was the body of Christ that deterred the enemies of the church,” Roche said.

With the name of Corpus Christi Catholic School and the patronage of St. Clare “it all just fell into place. We didn’t have to work at it. It just was. That’s really what made it an easy, easy decision,” Roche said.

Kathy Wieland, president of the Advisory Commission on Education, said the name is “perfect.”

“It’s just a perfect description of what we are and who we are and what we will be in the future, too,” she told The Post.

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