Our Mission Statement
We are a welcoming community
Called to live our faith by
Celebrating sacraments and prayers,
Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ,
Seeding life-long faith formation,
Sharing our time, talents, and treasures, and
Reaching in compassionate service to others.
When the Most Rev. Henry J. Soenneker came to the Diocese of Owensboro in 1961, St. Joseph parish in Bowling Green had only one priest, Fr. Pat Bowling, to serve the needs of the growing Catholic population in all of Warren County, including the rapidly expanding group of Catholic students at Western Kentucky University. One of Bishop Soenneker’s early decisions was to assign Fr. William Allard to develop a Newman Center near the college campus and to assist Fr. Bowling at St. Joseph until the center was opened.
In 1967, Bishop Soenneker decreed the beginning Holy Spirit Parish in Bowling Green to better serve the growing Catholic population. He sent Fr. Henry Willett to be the first pastor at Holy Spirit. After several delays, the ground breaking and construction of the new church on Smallhouse Road began. Until Holy Spirit Church was completed, Fr. Willett’s parish was a part of the historic St. Joseph’s parish on Church Street.
The first Mass at Holy Spirit Church was celebrated on Thanksgiving Day in 1970. Bishop Soenneker blessed and dedicated the church hall and rectory on December 6, 1970. Two hundred fifty families were transferred from St. Joseph parish to become the new Holy Spirit family.
Fr. Willett remained at Holy Spirit until he was transferred to Daviess County in 1973. Since then our pastors have been: Fr. Joe Mills (1973-1982); Fr. Tom Clark (1982-1990); Fr. Jerry Calhoun (1990-1997), Fr. Jerry Riney (1982-2013). Our present pastor is Fr. John M. Thomas.
In 1975 Fr. Ben Powers became our first associate pastor. Others have been: Fr. Pete Lauzon, Fr. Brad Whistle, Fr. Bruce Fogle, Fr. Greg Trawick, Fr. Gary Payne, Fr. Tony Jones, Fr. Henry Weider, Fr. Steve Ulrich, Fr. Stan Puryear, Fr. Dan Kruetzer, Fr. Carl McCarthy, Fr. Gregory Arflack, Fr. Brian Johnson, Fr. Mark Buckner, Fr. Anthoni Ottagon, Fr. Ray Goetz, Fr. Steve Hohman, Fr. Daniel Dillard, Fr. Emmanuel Udoh and currently Fr. Timothy Khui Shing Ling and Fr. John M. Thomas.
After the formation and building of the new parish under the pastorate of Fr. Willett, Fr. Joe Mills brought new vitality to the parish by means of the Marriage Encounter and the Cursillo Movement. Under the leadership of Fr. Tom Clark a number of Liturgical Ministers were initiated in the parish.
In the past there have been many times when group meetings and activities filled every room and cubby hole. Often the priests found their offices, living room, kitchen and sitting room unavailable for private conferences because of group meetings, RCIA, youth groups and other necessary parish activities. During Vacation Bible School all the groups of children had classes in one parish hall leading to noisy hectic sessions of instructions. As a result of overcrowding, a building program was undertaken in 1992, under the direction of Fr. Jerry Calhoun, which resulted in a spacious parish hall, the renovation of the old hall into classroom space, new office space in the former rectory area, updated library and a new rectory for our priests.
We again outgrew our space, and so another building project was undertaken, this time involving an entirely new campus and location. Our new campus, located at 4754 Smallhouse Road, was dedicate on December 12, 2010. What a blessing it has been!
During the last 45 years, the children of the original 250 parish families have grown, married and multiplied. Many new families have moved to Bowling Green and Holy Spirit has now grown to over 1100 families. Parish ministries, catechetical, family and outreach programs have increased greatly.