Sts. Joseph and Paul Church Memories

Sisters who gathered to be interviewed were, (front row, from left) Sister Frances Miriam Spalding, Sister Jean Madeline Peake, Sister Emma Cecilia Busam, and Sister Catherine Marie Lauterwasser; second row, Sister Clarita Browning and Sister Lennora Carrico; back row, Sister Ann Patrice Cecil and Sister Philomena Cox.

Sts. Joseph and Paul Church in Owensboro, Ky., is celebrating its 125th anniversary in the coming year, and is collecting memories from people involved in the former St. Joseph and St. Paul parishes and schools. On March 12, five members of the parish – Lavida Mischel, Kathy Mischel, Braun (Brownie) Mischel, John Wells and his wife Laura Wells came to the Saint Ursula Community Room at the Motherhouse to record stories of the sisters who went to school at the parish or who taught there.

Present were former students Sister Catherine Marie Lauterwasser, Sister Philomena Cox, and Sister Emma Cecilia Busam, who also later taught at the school; and former teachers Sister Jean Madeline Peake, Sister Lennora Carrico, Sister Frances Miriam Spalding, Sister Clarita Browning, and Sister Ann Patrice Cecil. Sister Eileen Howard stopped by for a little while, she was a music minister at the parish in the mid-1980s. Unable to attend were former teacher Sister Jane Miriam Hancock, and former student Sister Melissa Tipmore.

Ground was broken for St. Paul Church on July 6, 1887. In 1948, it was announced that St. Paul and St. Joseph churches – which were across the street from each other, one initially a German church, the other Irish – would merge. “Though the anniversary date is one from St. Paul’s parish, we are also celebrating the roots of St. Joseph Parish,” said Lavida Mischel, chairwoman of the anniversary committee.

The church in downtown Owensboro will kick off the anniversary year July 10 by sharing some of the memories gathered with parishioners. In July 2012, the parish is planning a huge celebration, “inviting all those who have helped make our parish and faith family what it is today — including the sisters and past priests,” Mischel said.

Included in the anniversary celebration will be a book of photo memories that Mischel is working on. She is gathering pictures through August, with the plan for the book to be done by early 2012. The church recently replaced the slate on its steeple with copper, and is selling the more than 100-year-old slate for a fund-raiser.

Here are some photos from the March 12 interviews:

Sister Catherine Marie Lauterwasser, right, looks at some pictures that Lavida Mischel, left, just scanned into her computer during the interview session.


Members of the Sts. Joseph and Paul anniversary committee smile as Sister Frances Miriam Spalding tells a story about her days of teaching at Sts. Joseph and Paul School in the 1960s. From left are John Wells, Braun (Brownie Mischel), Kathy Mischel, and Lavida Mischel.


Sister Clarita Browning, center, relays a memory of her year teaching at Sts. Joseph and Paul School, 1950-51, as Sister Philomena Cox, left, and Sister Lennora Carrico listen. Sister Philomena was taught by Sister Lennora at St. Joseph High School in the 1940s.