St. Stephen Cathedral, established in 1839, was the first parish in the city of Owensboro. The present church was built in 1924 and remains the largest Catholic Church and parish in the city. Membership is approximately 600 households.
A Brief History of St Stephen Cathedral
1822-1839 – The mission years. Mission priests celebrated Mass in the homes of the early settlers in Daviess County
1839 – The first St. Stephen Church was built at Second and Cedar Streets. Reverend John C. Wathen was appointed pastor of the new church.
1849 – The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth opened St. Francis Academy, the first school in Daviess County
1856 – A second and larger St. Stephen Church was built at the same location.
1924 – 1926 – The third St. Stephen Church was built at 610 Locust Street. The artisans who designed the church were foreseeing that one day our church would be called “Cathedral.”
1938 – Pope Pius XI designated Most Reverend Francis R. Cotton as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro, and St. Stephen Church as his Cathedral.
1938 – Reverend Anthony Higdon was the first priest to be ordained from St. Stephen Cathedral.
1939 – We celebrated 100 years as a parish and the first parish school was opened at 7th and Frederica Streets for grades 1-5.
1947 – Blessed Sacrament Chapel established as a mission church.
1951 – Owensboro Catholic High School opened.
1962 – A new St. Stephen Cathedral parish school opened at 600 Locust Street.
1989 – Owensboro parochial schools consolidated; St. Angela Merici became the designated school for our parish children and St. Stephen Cathedral Preschool opened.
1989 – We celebrated 150 years as a parish!
2004 – St. Stephen Cathedral parish held its first annual Parish Picnic. The first Capital Campaign “Preservation for the Next Generation” was opened to renew and refurbish the parish facilities.
2011 – Work continues on plans for the interior renovation of the Cathedral.
2012 – The newly renovated Cathedral was re-opened and the new altar dedicated on November 18, 2012.
Today, St Stephen Cathedral is a vibrant parish serving the spiritual needs of its families with Most Reverend William F. Medley as Bishop and Reverend Jerry Riney as pastor.
We are a blessed parish indeed!
Full-time Employment Opportunity: Business Manager
We have a new job opportunity for a full-time Business Manager. Working under the supervision of the Pastor, the Business Manager is a steward of the physical, financial and personnel resources of the parishes. Find out more about this great opportunity.
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Saint Stephen Cathedral | 610 Locust Street | Owensboro, Kentucky 42301 | 270.683.6525