WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Crowds gathered at the Wheeling Central Catholic High School Gymnasium Tuesday to support athletes, while also supporting the history of the building. 

Bishop Mark Brennan of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston was joined by instrumental community members in East Wheeling to honor the legacy of Blessed Martin de Porres Catholic School. 

He blessed an exact replica of the statue of Martin de Porres which will remain in the gymnasium that once stood in the former school. 

Blessed Martin de Porres Catholic School for African American boys and girls opened in 1942, and former attendees showed their appreciation for this representation of their time there. 

”It makes me feel wonderful to know that I’m a part of the history. I was taught a lot of things and as happy as it makes me is to bring and stand with my friends once again.”

Ruth Stinson – Former Blessed Martin de Porres Student

”To be able to acknowledge what the church did within limits that even then were challenging, but that the church would set up a school for those who were underserved within society of the church – I’m proud to be able to be part of a little remembrance of that and honoring that past, so I feel good about it.”

Bishop Mark Brennan – Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

A rendition of the school’s alma mater was sung by another former student to show just how much of an impact their time at Blessed Martin de Porres has on them and the future of Wheeling Central Catholic High School students.