NEW ALBANY - St. Mary's Catholic Church has played a key role in shaping New Albany's rich history.
The parish organized in 1853. The church has proudly stood at the corner of Spring and Eighth streets and has survived many storms, including hurricane-force winds in 2008.
The proud church faces a new challenge these days, trying to locate its mascot, appropriately named Father Cat.
The black-and-white cat wandered onto church grounds five years ago and has been part of the St. Mary's family ever since. Each Saturday and Sunday, he can be seen sitting near the ramp door on the Eighth Street side greeting parishioners as they arrive for Mass.
On Saturday afternoon, Father Cat went missing, and no one at the church has seen him since. Church members are offering a reward for his return and are reaching out to social media searching for possible clues. They have also distributed fliers.
Father Cat has a collar with tags, including one with a cross.
The Rev. Henry Tully, the priest at St. Mary's, said Father Cat had never ventured too far away from church grounds and always came back. He believes someone may have taken the friendly feline.
"Even if someone forgot and left him out overnight, he would be right here the next morning," Tully said.
If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Father Cat, call St. Mary's at 812-944-0417.
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725 S. Floyd Street
Louisville, KY 40203