St. Rose of Lima

In the Early History of Kentucky, the present site of Mayslick, lying on the buffalo trail leading out from Limestone to the Lower Blue Licks, was known as May's Spring, with its large spring less than a hundred yards from the village. By the close of Bishop Carrell's episcopate, Mayslick had a population of about two hundred.

When a resident pastor was stationed at St. Patrick Parish, Maysville, in 1847, the Catholics at near-by Mayslick began to receive regular care from the pastor of Maysville.

Reverend John M. Mackey was among the early missionaries who attended Mayslick, prior to the appointment of its first resident pastor. He had spent his youth in Mason County, being a member of St. Patrick Parish at Maysville. He served the missions of the Diocese of Covington until 1868, at which time he went to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Father Mackey died on January 15, 1908, at Cincinnati.

The early history of the Church at Mayslick centers around Reverend John Hickey, who shortly after his ordination in 1864 became the first resident pastor. That was his first and only appointment. He remained pastor of Mayslick for thirty-nine years, until his death on August 18, 1902.

Father Hickey made his home on a farm at Mill Creek, situated along the Paris-Maysville Division of the L. & N. Railroad, about five miles from Mayslick. From his home he travelled over an extensive mission territory in the northeastern part of the Diocese. Besides the pastorate at Mayslick, he also attended Flemingsburg in Fleming County, Carlisle in Nicholas County, and the Catholics scattered through Lewis and other neighboring counties. Father Hickey was a priest with a kindly and frank disposition. He was sincerely beloved by all who knew him. Father Hickey offered Mass at the Mackey's home before obtaining a church in the town.

In 1867, Father Hickey purchased a Methodist church at Mayslick, which was remodeled for his parish church. The new church was dedicated on July 5, 1868, under the patronage of St. Rose of Lima, the first canonized Saint of the Americas. Very Reverend James M. Lancaster performed the dedicatory ceremonies. It was a memorable occasion for the Catholics of Mayslick and the surrounding counties. The choir of St. Patrick Parish of Maysville sang the Mass, which was celebrated by Reverend John M. Mackey, assisted by Father John Hickey and Father John B. Glorieux, pastor of Maysville. Eighteen years later, a new church at Mayslick was dedicated on September 12, 1886.

During his pastorate (1928-1946), Father Declan Carroll distinguished himself as an able administrator, by paying off a large debt and keeping the parish on an even financial level during the depression years of the 1930's.

Among the vocations to the Priesthood from the Mayslick parish was the Most Reverend John J. Collins, S.J., Titular Bishop of Antiphellos and Vicar-Apostolic of Jamaica. Before being elevated to the episcopacy, he was the president of Fordham University, being a member of the Eastern Province of the Jesuits. He was the first American Catholic Bishop to govern the Vicariate Apostolic of Jamaica, which formerly had been under the jurisdiction of English Prelates. Bishop Collins died in New York on November 30, 1934.

St. Rose of Lima Parish is an outstanding rural parish of the Diocese. At present it has a congregation of about fifty families.


by Rev. Paul E. Ryan, excerpted from his History of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, on the Occasion of the Centenary of the Diocese, 1853-1953