All Saints Parish
The development of Catholicity in the present Walton-Verona area in Boone County centered around the rural community of Verona as a parish center. In 1951, the center of the parish was moved to Walton with the establishment of All Saints Parish, and Verona at that time became a mission attended from Walton. As early as 1854, Verona was attended as a station from the Cathedral. In 1859, the Verona congregation was attended by the Benedictine Fathers of St. Joseph Prioiry; in the 1860’s from St Ann, West Covington; and in the 1870’s again from the Cathedral. In 1878, Reverend Joseph Quinn, a young assistant at the Cathedral, who had been attending the mission at Verona, was appointed the first resident pastor. By 1886, there were about forty families served by the Verona mission. Most of the congregation at that time lived in the vicinity of Verona in Boone County; five families resided in Grant County, and two families lived in Gallatin County. At that time Mass was offered at Verona twice a month, on the first and fourth Sundays.
In 1891, Reverend Benedict J. Kolb proposed to Bishop Maes that Walton, which was attended from Florence, be attached to the parish at Verona and made the center of the Verona-Walton area with the priest residing at Walton. He wrote thus to Bishop Maes, under date of March 31, 1891:
Although I have applied to Your Lordship for the annexation of Walton to the Verona Missions, because it is so much nearer to me, and also because it will be a little help to me financially, which I certainly need, as I now have but 61 families, still the prima causa moving me to apply to Your Lordship for the Walton Mission was that I be allowed to transfer my domicilium to Walton, and that for the following reasons:
Although Bishop Maes did not see fit to make Walton the parish center of the area at that time, the view still persisted among the priests successively stationed at Verona that Walton was centrally located for the mission area, and would one day outgrow Verona the Parish Center.
On September 1, 1894, Reverend J.D. Meinzer, pastor of Verona, at the direction of Bishop Maes, took charge of the congregation at Walton. Father Meinzer began immediately to select a lot suitable for a church. At that time he located a site consisting of about an acre on the Lexington Pike, the principal street in the town. Although the site was not in the heart of the town, it was considered a good location, as the town was developing toward that direction. On July 22, 1895, Father Meinzer wrote to Bishop Maes for permission to purchase the property for a church in Walton. Before Walton became a mission of Verona, it was customary for the pastor of Florence to say Mass on the first Sunday of each month at the Section House on the L. & N. Railroad.
In 1949, with the permission of Bishop Mulloy, Reverend Henry Busemeyer, newly appointed pastor of Verona, undertook the transfer of the parish center from Verona to Walton. During the past decade, more than ever, community life and business had gradually centered around Walton. As a result Catholic families moved closer to Walton. Father Busemeyer began the expansion program at Walton soon after his arrival as pastor of the area. The original twenty-four by thirty-four foot chapel was enlarged. Classrooms and living quarters for Sisters were added. On September 11, 1950, All Saints Parish school, the first full time Catholic school in the Walton-Verona area, was opened under the care of the Sisters of St. Benedict, with an enrollment of twenty-nine pupils. The new Walton school became the only Catholic school between Florence and Lexington. Father Busemeyer took up residence in Walton prior to the Feast of All Saints, November 1, 1950. From that time Verona became a mission attached to Walton, Mass being said at St. Patrick Church every Sunday. All Saints Church at Walton was formally dedicated by Bishop Mulloy as the new center of parish life in the Walton-Verona area, on Sunday, May 6, 1951.
Since the establishment of the school and parish church the number of Catholic families in Walton has increased. At present All Saints Parish serves about fifty Catholic families.
excerpted from History of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, on the Occasion of the Centenary of the Diocese, 1853-1953, by Rev. Paul E. Ryan