A Brief History...
St. Alphosus Catholic Church is located in western Daviess County, Kentucky. Once a little cabin in the woods, it is now a thriving parish with a beautiful brick church and cemetery. In the early days the parishioners were served by missionary priests on horseback. The first known of these was Father Elisha Durbin in 1825. Father Walter Coombs came to St. Alphonsus in 1845 and built the first log church on five acres of land donated by John Rodman.
When this log Church was completed, Mass was offered for the first time by Father John Boyle, who served St. Alphonsus once a month for two years. He was the only priest in this region of Kentucky, paying regular visits to St. Alphonus and other adjacent missions. Following Father Boyle, Father Eugene O'Callaghan attended St. Alphonsus once a month for years. He was at this time stationed in Owensboro.
The first resident pastor was Father Ivo Schacht who served the parish from 1861-1864. Father Schacht's first work was the enlarging of the log church, after which he purchased five acres of land from James Glenn and erected a log cabin school. In September 1861, St. Alphonsus parish opened its first Catholic School with Misses Mitty Landrum and Nora Moore as teachers. He also brought Lorettines to St. Alphonsus. Sisters opened the school in October 1863 giving it the name of St. Joseph Female Institute, but it was popularly called St. Joseph Academy. This building was destroyed by fire on December 30,1870. The Sisters returned back to their mother house in Loretto.
The log church burned in 1868 and the task of the new pastor, Father Paul Joseph Volk, in 1870 was to rebuild. Legend has it that the new bricks were soft and unfit for use when taken from the kiln. The masons went home expecting not to return for a few days until another batch was burned. About dust Father Volk was seen walking around the kiln praying. Miraculously, the bricks had hardened.
Father Volk, after building St. Alphonsus Church, started to rebuild St. Joseph Academy. It was completed August 14, 1874 and furnished with five Urlulines from Louisville. Father Volk died at the Mount November 2, 1919 and was buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery.
Father Oberlinkels succeeded Father Volk in 1885 and remained until 1888. During his time the St. Alphonsus Rectory was built. It was during this time on July 6, 1886 that the post office at St. Joseph was established.
Father O'Sullivan opened st. Alphonsus School in September 1901. In 1904 the school closed because of financial reasons and was re-opened again in 1913.
Father McAleer, who served the parish from 1949-1962, did not own and can be especially remembered walking down the road with a big cigar. He is the only priest buried st St. Alphonsus. The years that followed brought many different priests to the parish and saw many improvements to the church and school. St. Alphonsus School closed in May 1988 when the Catholic Schools around the Diocese began to consolidate closer to Owensboro.
Currently, the parish serves 199 families and 562 members. Between 50 and 60 children participate in Religious Education program and the parish has an active Youth Group.