“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)

Mother Catherine Spaulding

Mother Catherine Spaulding Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, May 19, 2017
1. Mother Catherine Spaulding Marker
Beginning in 1831, Mother Catherine Spalding was the vital leader in forming what we now refer to today as "Compassionate Louisville” initiating groundbreaking programs in education, health care, and social service.

Downtown Louisville is a fitting place for Mother Catherine's statue as all around can be found reminders of her lingering impact in the river city. In 1813 Catherine Spalding entered the newly formed Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, a community of religious women, and at 19 years of age, was of elected their first leader. In 1831, she and three other Sisters began Presentation Academy in the basement of St. Louis Church on the site of the present Cathedral of the Assumption. Mother Catherine and the Sisters nursed victims of cholera in 1832-33, and as a result of the epidemic started St. Vincent Orphanage next to the Cathedral for children left alone by parents' deaths or abandonment. Mother Catherine could often be seen bringing children from the wharf to this new home around the corner from the site of this statue. Louisville artist Raymond Graf used this facet of history as inspiration for the statue.

Mother Catherine Spaulding & Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, May 19, 2017
2. Mother Catherine Spaulding & Marker
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accommodate more children, Mother Catherine and the Sisters bought and refurbished a building at Jefferson and Wenzel streets in 1836. There she cared for homeless and abandoned children and used a wing of the building for St. Vincent Infirmary (later St. Joseph Infirmary) – first private hospital in Louisville.

At the time of Mother Catherine's death in 1858, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth extended beyond Nazareth to more than one hundred Sisters in sixteen convents. More than two centuries after their founding, members of the Congregation have served in hundreds of elementary schools, high schools, and three colleges. Countless children were given homes in six orphanages, and thousands of patients received care in fourteen hospitals. Six nurses' training schools extended the SCN service. Today, Mother Catherine’s spirit lives on in in hundreds of Sisters, international now in membership, and in ministries in the nations of North and Central America, Asia, and Africa.

This statue of Mother Catherine was dedicated by the people of Louisville, including Cathedral of the Assumption parishioners, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., Archbishop of Louisville on July 26, 2015. One hundred fifty-seven years after Mother Catherine Spalding's death, her statue is the first of a woman erected on public land in Louisville.

Mother Catherine Spaulding image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, May 19, 2017
3. Mother Catherine Spaulding
we are, in practice, the Servants of the poor, the sick & orphan, we are voluntarily so: But we look for our reward, in another & a better world.”
Catherine Spalding
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkChurches & ReligionWomen.
Location. 38° 15.127′ N, 85° 45.534′ W. Marker is in Louisville, Kentucky, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of S 5th Street and Cathedral School Court, on the right when traveling north on S 5th Street. Located in front of the Cathedral of the Assumption Parish Office. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 433 S 5th Street, Louisville KY 40202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cathedral of the Assumption (a few steps from this marker); Rotary Club of Louisville / Henry Watterson Hotel (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Blue Boar Cafeteria (about 400 feet away); Sit-In Demonstration Site (about 500 feet away); Thomas Merton - (1915-68) / A Revelation (about 500 feet away); Sit-in Demonstration Site (about 600 feet away); Louisville Law Enforcement Memorial (about 600 feet away); Louisville Firefighters Memorial (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Louisville.
Regarding Mother Catherine Spaulding. Spalding University
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in Louisville is named after Mother Catherine Spalding.
Also see . . .  Catherine Spalding on Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 198 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.

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Apr. 22, 2021