Retired archdiocesan priest
Saint Thomas Seminary


Joseph T. Graffis

Called to a life of service at an early age, Fr. Joe Graffis has worked tirelessly for nearly 50 years
as a Roman Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Fr. Joe began his Catholic school journey at Holy Spirit School, followed by our Lady of Lourdes
School and Aquinas Prep School. His high school years were spent at St. Thomas Seminary in
Louisville. He then moved on to St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore to earn his
undergraduate degrees in philosophy and education, followed by a master’s degree in theology
in 1971.

On May 29, 1971, Fr. Joe was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville. Early in his
career, Fr. Joe served as an associate pastor at 5t. Rita Church in Okolona followed by dual roles
at Bellarmine University Campus Ministry and the Archdiocesan Clergy Personnel
Commission. His first role as pastor came at the Church of the Epiphany in 1981, followed by St.
Augustine Church in west Louisville and St. Edward parish in Jeffersontown.

In his so-called retirement, Fr. Joe has served in interim administrative roles at St. Gregory, St.
Raphael and St. Francis of Assisi parishes. Among other things, he has served as President of
the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators, Co-Chaplain at Presentation
Academy and has been a long-time panelist on The Moral Side of the News. In addition, he has
spent much of his career advocating for children who struggle, serving in a leadership capacity
of WHAS Crusade for Children since 1997.