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Saint Frances of Rome
2119 Payne St
Louisville, KY 40206
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Venue Description

As Louisville spread eastward along two streets, Frankfort Avenue and Bardstown Road, two churches were established to accommodate the growth—St. Francis of Assisi in 1886 and St. Frances of Rome in 1887. Father Thomas Walter White was the founding pastor of the latter.

An elementary school opened in 1890 and was housed in the St. Frances of Rome church structure. The current school building, constructed by 1930, served as the parish school until 1975 and thereafter was home to various organizations, theater groups and a school for the learning-disabled.

In 1991, as it determined the best use of the school building, the parish studied the demographics of the area and the needs and challenges of the neighboring community, looking for a creative answer “outside the box.” It finally decided to establish a 501-C3 non-profit corporation, the Clifton Center, which leases the building from the parish, while allowing the parish to maintain space for its exclusive use. The Clifton Center serves the Greater Louisville area with a high-quality facility for productions, meetings, programs and office space for long-term tenants. It includes a 500-seat theater.

Today, St. Frances of Rome is an active and vibrant faith community with more than 1,200 parishioners. In many ways its growth can be attributed to the 1991 revitalization that began with the establishment of the Clifton Center. The renaissance includes forty-seven “associate” family members—a unique concept that allows those with family or historical connections from another parish to attach themselves to St. Frances of Rome.

Even without a school, the parish boasts eighty children under the age of five years who receive religious nurturing through the education programs of the parish.

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