About us and our heritage!
Sharing our heritage offers insight to the strength that has allowed our Parish to flourish for the past 60 years. While much has changed during that time.
Rosary Chapel History
Rosary Chapel Parish was established in 1947 by Rev. Albert Thompson, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church. Because segregation prevailed at that time, Fr. Thompson felt that Black Catholics had no sense of identify at St. Francis, and needed a parish of their own. The parishioners of Rosary participated in building Rosary by contribution time and labor to help renovate the first buildings.
The property consisted of three houses, one of which was converted to a small chapel. The other two houses were connected and used as classrooms for Rosary Chapel School. The first Mass was offered in the spring of 1947 and school opened in September. Fr. Richard Wersing, C.S.S.P. was the first pastor. Ursuline sisters from Maple Mount, KY taught and maintained the school.
The Paducah community at large helped Rosary Chapel and School to grow spiritually and materially. The number of children attending the school grew from 23 students to 150. This necessitated building a larger school. A three-story brick building was constructed in 1952. It accommodated classrooms for twelve grades, living quarters on the top floor for the increased number of Sisters, a large kitchen, cafeteria, and a basement auditorium with a seating capacity of 200. An article was published in Time magazine in September, 1952 regarding the school.
The continued growth of the congregation led to the construction of a larger church. It was dedicated in 1958 as Rosary Chapel by Bishop Francis R. Cotton, Bishop of Owensboro.
A close-knit family spirit, openness, a spirit of fellowship and justifiable pride characterized Rosary from the beginning. The doors are always open to all races. This continually attracts growing numbers of people to religious services and parish activities. Besides being one of the most beautiful churches in the area, Rosary’s liturgical services with Gospel music attract more than its registered members to Sunday services. The church has a seating capacity of 300.
The greatest strengths of Rosary Chapel Parish are the active participation of its members, a sense of community, and the faith of its people. The people of Rosary are grateful for the accomplishments of the church and its parishioners. We openly invite all to come and join in our worship service and experience our spiritual love and fellowship.