Deacon Ralph Bartley and his wife Jane have been parishioners since 1995, when they moved to Louisville and enrolled their youngest daughter Jessica, a third grader, in the St. Leonard School. Their older children Jennifer, Ben, and Jodi were in college at the time. Now all are married, and there have been a total of six grandchildren, the oldest being a senior at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and the youngest a 2nd grader. Jane and Ralph are both retired educators who worked with students who were blind or low vision. Jane retired from the New Albany/Floyd County Schools in 2014 after 17 years with the district. Ralph retired twice: once from the KY School for the Blind in 2003, and then finally from the American Printing House for the Blind’s Research Department in 2016. Ralph was born, raised, and graduated high school in Henderson, Kentucky. He met Jane, who is from Union, Missouri, while they were both working part time at the Missouri School for the Blind and attending college, Ralph at St. Louis University and Jane at Harris Teachers College. They married on August 23, 1970 and have lived in Missouri, Kansas, and Arizona before moving to Louisville in 1995.
Jane and Ralph participated in the Archdiocese of Louisville deacon formation program which they began in 2008. Ralph was ordained a permanent deacon on August 25, 2012 and assigned to the clustered parishes of St. Frances of Rome and St. Leonard. In addition to the Spalding University graduate courses that were part of the deacon program, Jane has degrees in education and rehabilitation of the blind from Harris Teachers College, Lindenwood University, and the University of Arizona. Ralph has an undergraduate degree from SLU (1969: history and political science, with the usual Jesuit required philosophy and theology courses). He also has graduate degrees (MSEd in 1970, Educational Specialist; Ph.D in 1988) in education and educational administration. Ralph became a senior deacon when he turned 70 in 2017 and will gradually be decreasing his deacon ministry as he approaches 75, which is the required age for deacons to submit their requests to the archbishop for retirement from full-time ministry.Deacon Ralph Bartley