Published: Dec. 8, 2012 at 4:11 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2012 at 4:11 PM CST
OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - Members of nearly 80 parishes throughout western Kentucky gathered in Owensboro Saturday morning to celebrate an important milestone.
Thousands of people gathered to worship at the Sportscenter in Owensboro, some traveling more than three hours to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Owensboro.
A parade of flags representing the 79 parishes of the diocese marked the beginning of the grand jubilee.
"A jubilee is a time to look forward, to say are we leaving the foundation that the next generation will build their faith upon," said Bishop William Medley.
The Catholic Diocese of Owensboro was created in 1937 after being carved from the Diocese of Louisville. The long-awaited event had one goal.
"To try to bring people together from all the 32 counties in Western Kentucky and all of our 79 parishes and missions to celebrate we are the church and we belong to the lord," Cessy Sullivan said.
Cessy Sullivan is a member of St. Stephen Cathedral in Downtown Owensboro. She says her parish was thrilled to see so many people travel to worship as a diocese.
"It's very impressive to see that so many were dedicated to our diocese, so we feel so proud to be members and it's been 75 years, so it was wonderful to see so many of our parishioners there," Sullivan said.
The day also celebrated a milestone for the Ursuline sisters of Mount St. Joseph.
"The Ursuline Sisters are celebrating their 100th anniversary as an autonomous community," said Sister Amelia Stenger.
Sister Stenger says the choir was made of a unique mix of voices.
"We have all kinds of people coming, particularly for the choir. I sang in the choir today. I was privileged to do that and we had people from all across the parishes of the diocese to join in that choir," Stenger said.
Saturday's message to the community was simple.
"We just want people to know that we're happy to be Catholic and that we are so happy to have our Bishop Medley and Bishop John McRaith to lead our church in western Kentucky," Stenger said.
Following the mass families were invited to lunch and entertainment at the RiverPark Center.
Organizers say they were overwhelmed by the thousands of people that came to worship.