Happy 205th Birthday to the Catholic Church in Kentucky!

Happy 205th Birthday today to the ArchDiocese of Louisville, KY. The Diocese of Bardstown was created on this date in 1808 along with New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. These were the first diocese’s created in America. Bardstown gave birth to many of the churches in Western Kentucky, through the work of several missionary priests like Fr. Elisha Durbin. Fr. Durbin founded my own church of St. Ann in Morganfield, KY. After the church in Western Kentucky was started and built up, the Holy See issued a Papal Bull in 1937 establishing the Diocese of Owensboro, by separating the 32 counties of Western Kentucky from what was the the Diocese of Louisville. And the Diocese of Louisville was elevated to an Archdiocese.

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The translation of the Papal Bull establishing the Diocese of Owensboro is:

English translation:

Pius, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God, for the Perpetual Memory of this Act

From the Diocese of Louisville we separate that part of its territory comprising the civil counties of Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman, Fulton, McCracken, Graves, Livingston, Marshall, Calloway, Trigg, Lyon, Crittenden, Caldwell, Christian, Hopkins, Webster, Union, Henderson, Daviess, Hancock, McLean, Ohio, Muhlenberg, Butler, Todd, Logan, Breckinridge, Grayson, Edmonson, Warren, Simpson, Allen and from it, we erect a new and distinct diocese, and we will and declare that this diocese be called that of Owensboro from the city of that name, restricting this much the boundaries of the Diocese of Louisville, decreeing further that the seat of the new diocese be fixed in the city of Owensboro, which therefore we elevate to the rank of an episcopal city and to it we grant the rights and privileges which other episcopal cities enjoy; the throne of the Bishop we fix in the parish church of St. Stephen in that same city and we elevate it to the rank and dignity of a Cathedral Church, and to it and its incumbent Bishops, we grant all the rights, privileges, honors, insignia, favors, and prerogatives which other Cathedral Churches and their Bishops by common law possess and enjoy, and we bind them to the same duties and obligations.

We constitute this Diocese of Owensboro a suffragan of the Church of Louisville, which Our Most Holy Lord, Pope Pius XI, now gloriously reigning, by his Letters Quo christifidelium regimen, written on the tenth day of December last, decreed to be elevated to Metropolitan; therefore we subject the Bishops of Owensboro to the metropolitan jurisdiction of the Archbishops of Louisville.

So Happy 205th Anniversary to the Catholic Church in Kentucky! Ad Multos Annos!

Published by Father Corey D. Bruns

I'm a Priest of the Diocese of Owensboro, KY and Parochial Vicar of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Bowling Green, KY.

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