July 14, 2023 | Local News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Deacon Mike Marsili, Rhonda Mills, Fr. David Kennedy, Bishop William F. Medley, Joe Keller, and Carol Keller participate in the groundbreaking of Resurrection Catholic Church in Dawson Springs, Ky., on July 8, 2023. RILEY GREIF | WKC

Resurrecting: While tornado recovery continues, Dawson Springs community holds groundbreaking for new church

BY RILEY GREIF, THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC

Eighteen months after devastating tornadoes ripped through western Kentucky, Resurrection Parish in Dawson Springs gathered in the rain on the property where their church once stood. Resurrection Parish, severely damaged by the tornado, was deemed a total loss.  After months of hard work, planning, and adjustments, they finally gathered for a groundbreaking. A new church will be constructed where the previous one stood.

Bishop William F. Medley noted in his homily that the parish was “aptly named” and noticed that the city of Dawson Springs has already begun its “resurrection,” rebuilding the homes and businesses destroyed.

For the past 18 months, parishioners have gathered for Mass at Rhonda and Donnie Mills’ shed on the property of their home, which was unscathed by the Dec. 10, 2021 storms. Rhonda Mills has “heard no complaints” about the setup, even when they celebrated First Communion under their carport. She said the community is “just glad to stay together.”

Individuals, including Fr. David Kennedy and Bishop William F. Medley, gather in the rain for the groundbreaking of Resurrection Catholic Church in Dawson Springs, Ky., on July 8, 2023. The rain ended by the time the groundbreaking service began. RILEY GREIF | WKC

The event began with two scripture readings and a homily by Bishop Medley. The sun shone through the clouds as the Gospel was proclaimed, “you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church” from the Gospel of Matthew. Bishop Medley then blessed the grounds with holy water and remarked that God had blessed the grounds a few minutes ago with the rain that cleared as the service began. Next, a group composed of Bishop Medley, pastor Fr. David Kennedy, Deacon Mike Marsili, Rhonda Mills, and Joe Carol Keller broke the ground.

Fr. David Kennedy expressed his gratitude for the support and generosity they have received from people all over the country. He said he has seen firsthand how this tragedy has “brought people together to be strong in Spirit”. His hope is that the faithfulness of the community will inspire generations to come.

Early diocesan projections have the church finished in summer 2024.

Attendees look on as Bishop William F. Medley gives a final blessing at conclusion of the groundbreaking of Resurrection Catholic Church in Dawson Springs, Ky., on July 8, 2023. RILEY GREIF | WKC

Riley Greif is the digital media specialist in the Office of Communications of the Diocese of Owensboro, Ky.

Current Issue

Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
Send change of address requests to [email protected]