Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien visited the Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky., one of Baltimore’s daughter dioceses, Sept. 28 to celebrate its 200th anniversary with a special outdoor Mass at the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral.
Serving as principal celebrant, Archbishop O’Brien was joined by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville and other archbishops and bishops.
The Diocese of Bardstown, which became the Archdiocese of Louisville, was founded as the first inland diocese in the United States on April 8, 1808. It had formerly been a part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which was raised to archdiocesan status that same year.
The Diocese of Bardstown’s see city moved to Louisville in 1841, and the Diocese of Louisville was elevated to an archdiocese in 1937. The first bishop of the diocese, Benedict Joseph Flaget, was a member of the Society of St. Sulpice and was given pastoral responsibility for a huge territory to the north and west of Kentucky. Today, more than 40 dioceses in 10 states have descended from the Diocese of Bardstown.