From Our History
Father Robert A. Abell (1792-1873) was a tireless pioneer and a famous preacher. He was known for his sense of humor.
Father Stephen T. Badin (1768-1853) was a pioneer. The first priest to be ordained in the United States, Father Badin was known as overly strict but zealous.
Father Eugene A. Bertello (1885-1917) died in a train crash on December 20, 1917, while taking the Eucharist to a dying parishioner.
Father Bernard J. Boland (1877-1955) was extremely well-connected in both city and state politics. He performed special work with military personnel during World War II.
Father Charles C. Boldrick (1905-1985) held a doctorate in philosophy from Rome. He was heavily involved in work for the foreign missions. He also worked with the Filson Club and in leadership positions in various civic affairs.
Father Edward B. Branch (1945- ) was the first African-American priest to be ordained for the Archdiocese. His ordination took place on August 31, 1974.
Father Michael Bouchet (1827-1903) was an inventor, linguist, and early ecumenist. Father Bouchet served at the Cathedral for more than 50 years. He was also a close friend of Rabbi Moses.
Father William Byrne (1782-1833) founded St. Mary’s College in an old distillery. He died of cholera.
Father Francis Chambige (1808-1877) was a scientist and a teacher. He clashed with Bishop McCloskey and appealed his case to Rome.
Lawman Robert Chibundi (1974- ) is from Zambia. He is the first African seminarian to study for the Archdiocese.
Father Charles Coomes (1805-1881) conducted many missions throughout the Commonwealth. He was also a chaplain to the soldiers in Kentucky during the Civil War.
Father David A. DeParcq (1795-1864) served willingly in a variety of capacities. He especially worked for vocations and also visited the Native American missions.
Father Daniel A. Driscoll (1890-1956) was a long-time director of Catholic Charities. Father Driscoll was known as a kind, yet cautious man.
Father John N. Dudine (1896-1980) worked among the black people of Louisville. He came from a family of religious – two of his brothers were priests and his sisters were a nun and an author. Father Dudine held a special devotion to the work of the missions.
Father Elisha J. Durbin (1800-1887) was known as the “Apostle of Western Kentucky.”
Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850) was the first bishop of Bardstown and Louisville. Invariably called “the saintly Flaget,” Bishop Flaget served as bishop from 1810 until his death in 1850.
Father Clarence Hagan (1911-1945) was a military chaplain. He was killed in Italy during World War II while ministering to the dying on the battlefield.
Monsignor Alfred F. Horrigan (1914- ) was the founding president of Bellarmine College. He also headed the city’s Human Relations commission and was a friend of Thomas Merton. Msgr. Horrigan also has been constantly involved in peace and justice issues.
Father Philip Hosten (1794-1821) was the first resident priest of Louisville. He died while ministering during a typhoid epidemic in the city. Bishop Flaget nursed him through his illness. Father Hosten left behind as his “estate” a few loose coins.
Father Francis P. Kenrick (1797-1863) was a theologian, writer and scholar. In later years he was named Archbishop of Philadelphia.
Father John F. Knue (1878-1945) labored among the poor of all faiths. He promoted cooperatives and obtained roads in rural areas. Father Knue was a famed pastor in Louisville. A biography was published about his life.
Father James P. McGee (1895-1955) worked for a druggist and was a second lieutenant in the infantry during World War I, all prior to entering the seminary. Father McGee was noted for his deep piety. Father William McKune published a biography about Father McGee.
Father John McGill (1809-1872) was a lawyer before he began clerical studies. Father McGill served at the Cathedral in Louisville and was later named Bishop of Richmond.
Father J. William McKune (1915-1969) was a long-time editor of The Record and brought to that publication many national awards for journalism. He was supportive of civil rights advances and was well-known for his sharp mind and style.
Most Rev. Charles G. Maloney, DD (1912- ), a native of Louisville, was ordained auxiliary bishop of Louisville on February 2, 1955. In 1995, he was named titular bishop of Bardstown, Kentucky.
Father James C. Maloney (1911-1998) was a brother to Bishop Charles Maloney. He came from a “clerical and religious” family. Father Maloney founded Boys’ Haven in Louisville in 1948.
Father John H. Morgan (1925-1998) was a communications director. Father Morgan was considered a maverick who established a chain of homes for the troubled and destitute. He also served as campus minister at the University of Kentucky. His special interest was antiques.
Father Charles Nerinckx (1761-1824) was a pioneer. He built ten churches and helped to found the Sisters of Loretto. He was from Belgium.
Father Joseph A. Newman (1889-1957) was a skilled mechanic, a writer, and adept at sign language. He was a revered pastor and was the second chaplain for the Louisville Catholic Deaf Community. The City of Shively named their library in his honor. A biographical sketch of his life was printed in 2000.
Father Richard O’Hare (1912-1975) was a sociologist, police and fire chaplain, and a professor. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on horse betting.
Monsignor Felix N. Pitt (1894-1971) held a Swiss academic doctorate. He organized the Catholic school office and was a pioneer on WHAS Radio in ecumenical broadcast. He served on the post-World War II international committee.
Father Charles P. Raffo (1859-1938) was famous as a confessor, hearing 400 confessions weekly of people all over the city. He was the first state chaplain for the Knights of Columbus and the first priest member of the Rotary Club, where he said, “Call me Charlie.”
Father Vernon W. Robertson (1923-1998) was a social critic and activist. He performed special work in the area of race relations. He substantially supported the arts, jazz, and education from Montessori through the graduate level.
David Sanchez (1968- ) is the first Hispanic seminarian to study for the Archdiocese. He is from Puerto Rico.
Father George W. Schuhmann (1865-1931) was famed as an orator and a preacher. He was a long-time city pastor and was especially known among the city’s German residents.
Father John L. Spalding (1840-1916) helped found the Catholic University in Washington, DC, and was called the “Catholic Emerson” because of his many books of essays. Father Spalding later became the Bishop of Peoria, Illinois.
Bishop Martin John Spalding (1810-1872) was a scholar, writer, and Civil War bishop. He was named the second bishop of Louisville in 1850 and remained in that position until 1864, at which time he was named Archbishop of Baltimore.
Father Francis J. Timoney (1887-1981) was known for his special work with the Holy Name society and the Corpus Christi processions. He founded the Holy Name Band and Choral Club and a salvage bureau for the poor.
Father John Tran (1971- ) became the first Vietnamese priest ordained for the Archdiocese. Father Tran was ordained on June 3, 2000.
Monsignor Raymond J. Treece (1912-1985) was a Scripture scholar with a radio show. Father Treece was also a Civil War and a naval history buff, and he was founding vice-president of Bellarmine College (now Bellarmine University).
Father John W. Vance (1900-1976) was a Louisville pastor at Holy Spirit parish who was famed for his wisdom, wit, and common sense.
Bishop James Kendrick Williams (1936- ) was ordained a priest of the Louisville Archdiocese in 1963. In 1984, he was ordained the auxiliary Bishop of Covington, Kentucky. In 1988 he became the first bishop of the newly created diocese of Lexington, Kentucky.
- What can we learn from the history of priests who served our area?
- Of the priests mentioned in this section, which one intrigues you the most? What else can you discover about this person’s life and ministry?
- Are there other priests you know or have heard about whom you would include in this list? Why?