The Diocese of Lexington serves central Appalachia, one of the poorest and most isolated regions in the United States. Coals trains lumber through old mining towns, their whistles echoing up lonely “hollers” where time brings little change. The 40 Appalachian counties of Lexington are the “other America,” where 74 percent of the children live below the federal poverty line, where social and economic conditions rival those in the Third World. The scarcity of economic opportunities forces young people to move in search of work, leaving behind an increasingly aged and dependent population. Under such conditions, Catholic parishes have become known for offering people help with medical, economic, and personal emergencies, without regard for religious affiliation. However, numbers limit these efforts. In Appalachia, Catholics count for fewer than one person in a hundred.
The Diocese of Lexington has:
- 45,773 Catholics (3% of total population)
- 65 parishes and missions (16 without resident pastor)
- 34 active priests
1310 West Main Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40508-2048
Fax: (859) 254-6284