The history of Catholic education in our area dates back to 1849, when the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth opened St. Frances Academy. The school was located in an old frame building, formerly a hotel, at 3rd and Allen Streets. The school remained at that location for 40 years until increasing enrollments and requests from parents to give their children a Catholic education persuaded the sisters to move to a newly constructed building at 5th and Allen Streets.
A generation later, St. Frances Academy was again overcrowded. The Ursuline Sisters of Maple Mount, Kentucky were also experiencing difficulties in providing space and faculty for St. Joseph High School in Owensboro. Superiors of both Orders were pleased to learn that property had been purchased by the Diocese of Owensboro on Parrish Avenue to build a diocesan high school to serve Daviess County.
In 1951, the equipment of St. Frances Academy was moved to the new Owensboro Catholic High School, which opened in September 1951. In 1989 The Owensboro-Daviess County parochial schools were consolidated.
Today, students from all 15 sponsoring parishes, Holy Name School in Henderson, Saint Pope John Paul II in Morganfield, and St. Bernard’s in Rockport, attend Owensboro Catholic Elementary K-3 Campus, Owensboro Catholic Elementary 4-6 Campus, Owensboro Catholic Middle School, and Owensboro Catholic High School.