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HISTORY OF ST. PAUL CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
The early history of our parish is very interesting because some members and former members can actually trace their ancestors back to pioneer days. Many roads, streets, buildings, and landmarks of the community still bear the names of these early settlers, who built their homes, reared their families, lived and died in this parish.

Original St. Paul Catholic ChurchAs one reads the history of this area a person must realize that the early members of our parish and locality must have been an extremely brave and hardy lot. It may be difficult for present generations to realize that this section was once thought of as the unhealthiest region of Jefferson County, due to plagues, malaria, and other diseases. The area contained swamps, peat bogs, and offensive vapors. But all of that gradually disappeared and certain tracts, after being drained, around 1825, became tillable. Farming on a rather large scale, became a prosperous occupation, and it was the main employment of nearly everyone in the early period. Because of the many horses and buggies used by these people it soon became necessary for small businesses such as blacksmith shop, harness makers, etc. to start. Gradually other small businesses were started, general store, millinery for milady’s hats, mills, peddlers, and cobblers. Today this densely populated section has lost its rural atmosphere and residents commute to Louisville, Fort Knox and parts of Indiana.

Saint Andrew Church was one of the first rural churches in Jefferson County outside of Louisville. It was a quaint stone church, situated on a crest overlooking the section known as Wiser’s Valley. It was considered a beautiful landmark in the community, standing on Cardinal Hill off Saint Anthony-Saint Andrew Church Roads, one of the highest points between Iroquois Park and West Point. It was called, “The Church on the Hill.”

Construction of Saint Andrew Church began in 1848 and was completed in 1851. The rough stone used in the construction was quarried from the hills upon which it stood. The parishioners carried the stone to the site, where they were carved into shape, carefully fitted into place, and covered with stucco cement. Nearby trees were felled and shaped for rafters. It took three years to complete because the members had to do most of the work in their spare time. The interior had an arched ceiling, decorated with religious symbols and gilded stars in keeping with the art of by-gone days. The Stations of the Cross were hand painted, written in three languages: English, French and German. The windows were arched at the top and fitted with small panes of glass. Over the bare and undraped altar hung a painting of Saint Andrew, patron saint of the church. The church had a wooden belfry surmounted by a cross, while two smaller crosses flanked the belfry tower, but void of any other architectural flourishes.

The church was used for fifty-seven years, but for years it stood as a monument to its builders, a small group of pioneer parishioners.

It is said that Saint Andrew’s was served by, at least, seventy-one different priests, who looked after the spiritual needs of its people. At one time there was a rectory nearby, but usually the priest had to commute from Saint Peter’s and Saint Boniface.

Reverend John B. Peifer built a school on the hill, which at one time had fifty-four students and two teachers.

As is often the case with ethnic groups, there was dissension between the French and the German parishioners as to whether the church was to be of a French or German character, and in 1908 the parish as such, was abandoned. Most of the membership was absorbed by Saint Paul, which was organized in the valley below, where a more commodious and accessible church was built. The Conventual Franciscan Friars were given the care of Saint Paul Church in 1910 with the first Friar/Pastor being Father Marc Maser. Those first Friars lived at Saint Peter Friary, 17th & Garland Streets and commuted by inter-urban to the site on Dixie Highway. This wooden structure served the people until 1958 when the preset church was completed while Father Daniel Emerine was Pastor. Ground was broken on January 19, the cornerstone was laid on June 15 and on November 1, 1958 Bishop Charles Malony blessed the structure. To connect the past and the present stones from old Saint Andrew Church were used in the sanctuary of the present church.
 
 
   
RECTORY
6901 Dixie Hwy., Louisville, Ky. 40258
Phone: (502) 935-1223
FAX: (502) 933-7747
CLERGY
Pastor: Rev. Dismas Veeneman, OFMConv.
Deacon: Gary Fowler
FRIARS IN RESIDENCE
Rev. Camilius Gott, OFM Conv. (Retired)
Rev. Adam Bunnell, OFM Conv.
Rev. Charles McCarthy, OFM Conv. (Hispanic Ministry SW Louisville)
SCHOOL
6901 Dixie Hwy., Louisville, Ky. 40258
Phone: (502) 935-5511
FAX: (502) 935-5596
Principal: Kevin Brever
Web Site: http://www.saintpaulschool.net