St. Stephen Cathedral (Owensboro, Kentucky)
|St. Stephen Cathedral|
|Location||610 Locust St.
|Denomination||Roman Catholic Church|
|Diocese||Diocese of Owensboro|
|Bishop(s)||Most Rev. William Medley|
|Rector||Rev. Jerry Riney|
In the early years of Daviess County priests would celebrate Mass in the homes of the settlers. The first church dedicated to St. Stephen in Owensboro was built in 1839 and the Rev. John C. Wathen was appointed the parish’s first pastor. As the town and parish continued to grow a larger church was needed and so a second church was built on the same site as the first in 1856. The present church was built on Locust Street between 1924–1926. On December 9, 1937 Pope Pius XII established the Diocese of Owensboro. St. Stephen’s was chosen as the new diocese’s cathedral. The first Bishop of Owensboro, Francis Ridgley Cotton, was consecrated in St. Stephen’s Cathedral on February 24, 1938.
The first school in Davis County was St. Francis Academy. It was opened by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in 1849. The same year that St. Stephen’s became a cathedral, 1939, its first parish school opened on Frederica Streets with five grades. In 1951 Owensboro Catholic High School replaced St. Francis Academy. A new St. Stephen’s school opened in 1962 on Locust Street. The parochial schools in Owensboro consolidated in 1989 and used the building at St. Angela Merici for the new school. That same year a preschool opened at St. Stephen’s.