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History of St. Martin Catholic Church, Rome, KY

     In 1873, Fr. Ivo Schacht, pastor of St. Stephen in Owensboro, KY, organized the townspeople of Rome, a few miles outside of Owensboro, into a new parish. A new church was built, served by priests from surrounding parishes. St Martin was given its first pastor in 1891. In 1912, arrangements were made for the parish school to open, with the teachers coming from the Ursuline Sisters’ community at Mount St. Joseph.

     An increase in enrollment required the construction of a larger school just eight years later. With the school and parish both increasing in enrollment numbers, a new church was completed in 1957, a new rectory in 1964, and a school in 1966.

     Over the years, the participation of parishioners has increased greatly. Parish members serve on the parish council, minister as lectors, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, and religious education catechists. 

(From the book, Freely You Have Received, Freely Give: 75 Years of the Diocese of Owensboro Kentucky).

Our Patron is St. Martin of Tours. St. Martin (316-397 A.D.) was bishop of Tours, France. He is most known for his famous conversion. After giving half of his cloak to a poor man, Martin saw Jesus appear to him in a dream, gratefully wearing that same piece of his cloak. After the vision, Martin became a Christian.  His feast day is November 11.

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St Martin of Tours
St. Martin of Tours

St. Martin of Tours, (born 316, Sabaria, Pannonia [now Szombathely, Hungary]—died November 8, 397, Candes, Gaul [France]; Western feast day, November 11; Eastern feast day November 12), patron saint of France, father of monasticism in Gaul, and the first great leader of Western monasticism.

Of pagan parentage, Martin chose Christianity at age 10. As a youth, he was forced into the Roman army, but later—according to his disciple and biographer Sulpicius Severus—he petitioned the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate to be released from the army because “I am Christ’s soldier: I am not allowed to fight.” When charged with cowardice, he is said to have offered to stand in front of the battle line armed only with the sign of the cross. He was imprisoned but was soon discharged.

Legend holds that while he was still in the military and a catechumen of the faith, Martin cut his cloak in half to share it with a beggar. That night, he dreamed that Jesus himself was clothed with the torn cloak. When he awoke, the garment was restored. Moved by this vision and apparent miracle, Martin immediately finished his religious instruction and was baptized at age 18.

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