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More About Us
We have a fairly up-to-date database of St. Joe Prep graduates and attendees -- over 1,150 in all -- and use that database to mail out our newsletters. We seek to keep alive the history and tradition and camaraderie of St. Joe Prep. If you are a St. Joe graduate, or attended St. Joe, we invite you to get in touch with us. We are a proud group and wish to know how all our fellow students are doing. We are constantly updating our database. If you know of any alumni address changes, deaths or any other info you would like to share, please contact alumni president, Jude Talbott, Class of '57, at (502) 348-3453 or email us at stjoeprep@bardstown.com

Our History
Under a charter granted by the State of Kentucky, Saint Joseph College was founded in 1819 by the Right Reverend Joseph Flaget, S. S., First Bishop of Bardstown. With Reverend George Elder as the president, the first classes were held in the basement of the seminary, the present rectory, next to the Cathedral. In 1823 the west (chapel) wing was added to Spalding Hall. Ironically on January 23, 1837, all of Spalding Hall except that wing was destroyed by fire.

Owing to the scarcity of diocesan priests to staff the college, the Jesuits of Missouri Province, headed by Reverend Peter Verhegan as the first superior, assumed control of Saint Joseph's in 1848. Flaget Hall was erected in 1852 to provide more room needed for the growing college enrollment.

St. Joseph College continued to function until the battle clouds of the War for Southern Independence appeared. Classes were suspended, and students went home to fight for their country. The facilities of the college served as a military hospital for both the North and the South during Morgan's raids through central Kentucky. During these troubled times, the Jesuits served as chaplains, and the Sisters of Charity as nurses.

In 1868, the Jesuits withdrew from the Diocese of Louisville, and Saint Joseph's continued as the diocesan seminary and college. In 1889, the college and seminary departments were discontinued, and the buildings housed the orphanage which had been located at St. Thomas near Bardstown.

In 1911, Saint Joseph's was re-opened, this time as a college preparatory school conducted by the Xaverian Brothers. The Apostolic Delegate journeyed to Bardstown to re-dedicate Saint Joseph's.

In 1932, the name of the school was formally changed to Saint Joseph Preparatory School. An expanding enrollment necessitated the building of Xavier Hall in 1959 to house new classrooms, cafeteria, library, and school offices. Flaget Hall was transformed from classroom to dormitory.


On February 8, 1968, the Xavier Brothers regretfully announced that St. Joseph's Preparatory School would cease operations in June, 1968. With the decline in enrollment among the residents finances became critical; and St. Joe Prep bowed to necessity and had to close its doors to residents. In mid-March it was announced that to continue the day school would also be financially infeasible, and the Xaverian Brothers decided to withdraw completely at the end of the school year.

Alumni of Saint Joseph's can be proud of the almost 150 years which St. Joseph's has contributed to scholastic excellence of Catholic education in the mid-west.