♥ Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral ♥

On our recent day trip to Bardstown, Megan and I visited the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral.

Construction on the church began in 1816 and it was dedicated in 1819. It was the first Roman Catholic Cathedral west of the Allegheny Mountains. According to Wikipedia, "Many of the paintings and interior decorations were donated by Pope Leo XII and King Louis-Philippe of France." The church was once a part of the Diocese of Baltimore, but when that Diocese was subdivided, St. Joseph became the See of the Diocese of Bardstown. The Diocese of Bardtown was very large and included land as far north as Michigan, and as far west as Iowa and Missouri. In 1841, the Diocese of Louisville (now Archdiocese) was created, taking the place of the Diocese of Bardstown. The Cathedral of the Assumption (which was called St. Louis Church at the time) became the See for the Diocese of Louisville. Since St. Joseph was the first Cathedral of the Diocese, it was given the title of Proto-Cathedral. Pope John Paul II elevated the church to minor basilica church in 2001.

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