Realizing a need for Catholic secondary education in Weirton, Monsignor Daniel Patrick Murphy began formulating plans early in the 1950’s for the building of a high school. After receiving the approval of Archbishop Swint of the Wheeling diocese, Msgr. Murphy and a group of interested parishioners began a fund raising campaign of one million dollars. Weirton Steel Company and many generous individuals made large contributions. Catholic employees pledged three percent of their wages for three years. Mr. and Mrs. Starvaggi donated twelve acres of land for the school plan.
As the dream was about to become a reality, Msgr. Daniel Patrick Murphy met a sister from the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Peace while on a trip to Ireland. Sister Pauline brought interest in this new school to her superiors in Newark, New Jersey. They accepted the offer to staff a Catholic school in West Virginia.
Msgr. Thomas McDonnell, co-adjuster of the Wheeling Diocese, dedicated Madonna High School on August 15, 1955. Msgr. Murphy, who was suffering from terminal cancer, was flown to the ceremonies from New York. He died on September 19, 1955, after his educational dream had come true.
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