By MARNIE McALLISTER
Record Assistant Editor
The former Mother of Good Counsel Church at 8509 Westport Road was sold last week to Portland Christian School, which has been leasing the property from the Archdiocese of Louisville since last year.
Father Terry Bradshaw, pastor of St. Bernadette Church, and others representing St. Bernadette Church and St. Mary Academy, attended a ceremony at the campus May 17 to mark the transfer of ownership and wish the school well.
They were warmly greeted by about 150 children at the school who gathered in the sanctuary to sing songs about their love for God.
“It’s wonderful to see all of you here,” Father Bradshaw told the children.
He also read to them a letter from his parish, which said, “The stewardship in property in service of Christ has been transferred to you at 8509 Westport Road. The ministry of God’s holy word and Christian education is a blessing and now may grow in further service of the mission entrusted to you.
“We, the parish council of St. Bernadette, pray for the fruitfulness of your labors of faith, hope and love,” he read. “We have many memories of Christ among us in our life and ministry there. We rejoice, with you, that the witness to Christ continues at this campus.”
Portland Christian School’s executive director Jodell Seay received the letter and said the school plans to frame it and hang it on the campus. She also presented a clock to Father Bradshaw and asked that he present it to St. Mary Academy.
Mother of Good Counsel and Transfiguration of Our Lord Church closed to form St. Bernadette Church in April 2008. St. Mary Academy is a new regional school sponsored by St. Bernadette and Immaculate Conception Church in LaGrange, Ky.
In addition to Father Bradshaw, the ceremony was attended by Mary Alice Zettel, who served as principal at the Mother of Good Counsel campus and was St. Mary Academy’s first principal; Julie Tobbe, current principal of St. Mary; Joseph M. Smith, a member of the parish counsel at St. Bernadette and a former director of religious education at Mother of Good Counsel; and Bill Zoeller of the archdiocese.
They joined hands in prayer with teachers and staff of Portland Christian to surround the children seated in the pews.
Smith, who had been a member of Mother of Good Counsel since 1983, said he was glad to see the school operating in his former parish.
“It’s exciting to see this group here and take over the space,” he said during an interview. “It’s a new beginning for them. To use the space for the training of kids — you can’t get much better than that.”
Portland Christian School currently operates on two campuses. The Westport Road site has students in pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade. Its Portland Avenue campus, where it has operated since 1924, also has kindergarten through eighth-grade. The high school is moving this fall from the Portland campus to the Westport Road site. The two campuses have a total of 440 students.