Discover the Archdiocese of Louisville

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville consists of twenty-four counties in centralKentucky, US, covering 8,124 square miles (21,040 km2). It is the seat of the Metropolitan Province of Louisville, which comprises the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. Thecathedral church of the archdiocese is the Cathedral of the Assumption.


The diocese began in 1808 when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bardstown was established along with the dioceses of BostonNew York, and Philadelphia out of the territory of the Baltimore Diocese, the first Catholic diocese in the US. Pope Benedict XVI'svisit to the US in April 2008 celebrated the 200th anniversary of the creation of these dioceses and the elevation of Baltimore to an archdiocese. When founded, the Bardstown Diocese included most of Kentucky, Tennessee, MissouriIllinoisIndianaOhio, andMichigan.

While Louisville is the oldest inland diocese in the United States, it is not the oldest west of the Appalachians. That distinction belongs to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans founded under Spanish rule in 1793.

Benedict Joseph Flaget was the first Bishop of Bardstown. The historic Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral, the former cathedral of the Diocese of Bardstown, is now a parish church.

While the French may have had initial influence in the formation of the Catholic community in the Louisville area, eventually immigrants from Germany comprised the bulk of the Archdiocese's communicant strength later in the mid-19th century, particularly in the city of Louisville. However, much of the Catholic population in areas southeast of Louisville is ofEnglish extraction, consisting of descendants of recusants who originally settled in Marylandin colonial times.

In 1841, the diocese was moved from Bardstown to Louisville, becoming the Diocese of Louisville. The Diocese of Louisville was elevated in 1937 to become the Archdiocese of Louisville, and the metropolitan province for all the dioceses in Kentucky and Tennessee. There are currently three deaneries: Elizabethtown, Lebanon, and Bardstown.


The archdiocese contains 200,000 Catholics in 66,000 households, served by one hundred twenty-two parishes and missions. One half of all Catholics in the Commonwealth reside within the bounds of the Archdiocese of Louisville, and seventy-nine percent of all Catholics in the archdiocese (forty percent of all Catholics in the Commonwealth) reside in the Louisville Metro area. There are fifty-nine Catholic elementary and high schools serving more than 23,400 students. The archdiocese is home to one hundred sixty-six diocesan priests, one hundred twelve permanent deacons, fifty-two religious institute priests, seventy-seven religiousbrothers, and nine hundred forty-four religious sisters. The archdiocese serves more than 220,000 persons in Catholic hospitals, health care centers, homes for the aged, and specialized homes. Services, mother-infant care program, senior social services, and rural ministries services.

Archbishops and bishops



Past and present affiliated bishops


High schools

Nine Catholic secondary schools serve more than 6,300 students. Eight of the schools are located in Jefferson County and one in Nelson County. Four of the schools enroll only girls, three enroll only boys, and two are coeducational.




Elementary schools

Forty Catholic parish, regional, and special elementary schools serve more than 15,500 students in seven counties of the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Notable figures in the history of the archdiocese


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