History of KCHS

September 5, 1961 marked the opening of the first Catholic High School of Kearney. Construction had begun on the new school in July of 1960. Catholic High School of Kearney was dedicated by Bishop John L. Paschang on October 18, 1961. The new school cost $600,000 including the furnishings.

At the time of the dedication, Rev. Monsignor Raymond Miles explained that the school’s front mural, with a scripture phrase “Behold Thy Mother,” is a colored stone copy of a rather famous religious painting of the crucifixion. “The idea behind it is that the school is to be dedicated to the mother of Jesus,” Msgr. Miles explained in 1961. Based on the artist’s mural, the architect turned the project over to a commercial artist, who in turn gave the plans to a firm in Phoenix, Arizona from where the rectangular stone slabs which compose the mural were shipped.

The school began with 123 students in four grade levels, the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth, with the intention of adding a grade each year as the advanced class moved toward graduation. The Class of 1964 was first class to graduate from Kearney Catholic High School with 22 students.

Prince of Peace Parish was founded in Kearney in February, 1986. Together the two parishes conducted a building drive in 1994 for additional 6th grade classrooms, a multi-purpose room and a music room. In 1999, an art room was added next to the old chapel.

Through the generosity of donors who gave $3.8 million towards the “Proud Past. Promising Future.” Capital Campaign, Bishop William Dendinger blessed the newly remodeled classrooms and the addition of the new Cope Coliseum, Marshall Band and Choral Room, weight room and wrestling room in February, 2006.

Since 1981 under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the mission of the Kearney Catholic High School Foundation is to provide long-term financial stability for quality, faith based education at Kearney Catholic High School.  A crucial aspect of that commitment is to provide information, support, resources and assistance in planned giving for Kearney Catholic High School.  By giving to this ministry, one expresses their faith in the Catholic school, church and community.

It is because of donor support in 2020-2021, the enrollment was 364 students for grades six through twelve. To date, 1921 students have graduated from Kearney Catholic High School since 1964.  Thank you to all individuals and businesses for your personal and financial contribution.  The generosity of the community, alumni, parents and friends of Kearney Catholic are essential to the school's ability to provide a faith based education.  Philanthropy built Kearney Catholic in 1960 and continues to grow today, for a promising future.  

Father Raymond B. Hain, S.T.D., superintendent of Aquinas High School in 1961, who gave the principal address at the evening banquet during the dedication of the school in said, “Schools must put into their education what they want out of their students.” He said, “To serve the needs of the whole man we must instill the ideals of a Judaeo-Christian culture into our education…(a Catholic school) not only fulfills a great need, but is the symbol of enthusiasm, determination, and Christ-like optimism of Catholic clergymen and laymen throughout the United States.”

Our Mission

To enhance the quality of education at Kearney Catholic High School by providing ongoing financial support.

Kearney Catholic High School Foundation

20 East 21st Street
Kearney, NE 68847

phone: 308-236-6903
email: [email protected]