St John the Apostle Church

A Catholic Christian Community of people who gather in the name of Jesus to praise the Father in Word and Sacrament.

History

In the early 1800's, priests serving the diocese of Bardstown rode the mission circuit and visited the scattered Catholic families in Meade County about once a year. In 1824, Rev. Elisha J. Durbin began to attend to the congregation of St. Theresa, near Rhodelia, about once a month. Rev. John Thomas O'Connor and local erected a church on West Hill in Brandenburg and placed its people under the patronage of St. George.
The Record, dated November 19, 1892 stated, "On Tuesday, November 15 St. George Catholic Church was dedicated to the service of God." The Meade County Messenger dated September 23, 1903 reported, "Father Zoeller held Mass Sunday morning for a large congregation." The early St. George records note that the first baptism (Eleanor Hardesty Brown on September 17, 1899), the first marriage (Romanus Burch and Lela Craycroft on September 7, 1899), and the first burial (Agnus Malin [d. March 10, 1901] on March 11, 1901). St. George Cemetery was established in 1902 on land donated by the Sebastian family along Hwy 448.

The first church was struck by lightning in 1919 and destroyed. A new building was also struck by lightning in 1920 and destroyed. Due to this tragedy, except when the priests celebrated the Eucharist in individual homes, the people attended Mass in neighboring parishes. The St. George Mission was alternately served from 1920-1930 by pastors of St. Patrick's in Stithton, Mt. Merino in Irvington, St. Mary's in Payneville, and St. Anthony's in Axtel. This necessitated the attendance of Mass in neighboring parishes except when a priest could celebrate Eucharist in individual homes.

In 1931, St. George became a mission of St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi. A large contribution was received from John Kelly of Philadelphia, the father of Princess Grace of Monaco, through the Catholic Extension Society. This allowed for construction of a church building on Old State Road. In gratitude, the church was placed under the patronage of St. John the Apostle in honor of Kelly's patron saint. Mass was celebrated there on Sundays and Holy Days. In 1948-1949, this church was enlarged to double its seating capacity. In 1950 the Right Reverend John Floersh purchased 19.6 acres of land in anticipation of future growth - the site of our current parish. In 1957, the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity were assigned to St. Mary Magdalene and thus, took over the care of St. John the Apostle Mission. The Trinitarians served St. John's until 1982, when diocesan priest once again served the parish.

On August 18, 1960, St. John the Apostle became a parish and Rev. Lambert Stack, S.T. became the first pastor. A rectory was erected in 1964 (currently the Parish House). An elementary school opened in 1965 and was staffed by the Augustinian Sister from Malta. The former rectory of Old State Road served as both a convent and a school building. The current school was completed in 1966.

It soon became apparent that the additional Sunday Masses could not accommodate the ever increasing number of parishioners. Building of a new church began and the first Mass celebrated in the current church was on Saturday, March 29, 1980. The church was blessed and dedicated by the Most Reverend Thomas J. McDonough, DD,J.C.C., Archbishop of Louisville on September 14, 1980. A convent was built in 1982.

A parish center was added in 2000, which was blessed and dedicated by Archbishop Thomas Kelly, O.P. The center houses the parish offices, a multi-purpose gym, religious education rooms, a school classroom, a media center, and meeting space. In 2004, Father Paul Beach was assigned Pastor of both St. John's and St. Martin's in Flaherty, Kentucky. There are currently 620 families.