In 1872 three years before the first Kentucky Derby was ever run, at the request of Fr. Thomas J. Jenkins, four nuns from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth religious community in Nelson County, Kentucky traveled in the caboose of a freight train to Henderson, KY to establish a Catholic school for the children of a growing faith community. They arrived on September 7, 1872 and quickly commenced teaching the parish children.
The original school building was located on Ingram Street, between Third and Fourth Streets. All school activities were held in that building until 1899, when increasing debt necessitated that the sisters conduct their lessons in a room at the rectory of beloved Holy Name pastor, Fr. Thomas Tierney. In 1901, under the direction of Fr. Edward J. Lynch, students moved to a school building previously known as, Third Street School, which had been a school for German immigrants. Within this school building, renamed Holy Name School, the nuns expanded the student population to include high school students. At that time, Father Lynch began to look for a location to expand the school and solve the problem of overcrowding.
Ranking as one of the most important expansions in the history of the Holy Name Parish, was the purchase of a property at the corner of Second and Adams Streets on which was planned the construction of a new school building. The new Holy Name School, for years recognized as one of the community’s most handsome and one of the finest educational facilities in the state, was dedicated December 6, 1905. Students in first grade through high school were taught by a community of Sisters of Charity. Through World War I, the "Roaring" 1920s, the Great Depression of the 1930s, World War II and the economic boom that followed, Holy Name School produced many scholars who enriched the Henderson community through their contributions and service in their chosen professions and the faith community of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church.
Holy Name High School graduated its last high school class in 1970. At that time when the high school's rich history came to an end, increasing pressure of finances and high school state regulations for both physical facilities and curriculum precipitated the closure of the beloved high school grades. Holy Name School then became an elementary and middle school with grades first through eighth. In the mid 1980s, when it was mandated by the Kentucky Department of Education, Holy Name added classrooms for kindergarten instruction. Preschool and pre-kindergarten classrooms were added in 1996 for three and four year olds as our parish recognized the importance of early childhood education.
Today, Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School continues to operate with deep historical roots and significance in the community of Henderson, KY.
Holy Name School is a Catholic School providing an environment for a quality education based on the Gospel message which fosters service to the community.
Recognizing that the parents are the primary educators of their children, the goal of Holy Name School is to carry out the educational mission of the Church, to proclaim the Christian message, to provide opportunities for building and experiencing community, and to be of service to the total human community. Students have opportunities to develop their personal faith in this Catholic educational community through their participation in liturgies, prayer services, and daily experiences in the classroom. Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School provides an environment which promotes the spiritual, mental, and social growth of our students.