Candidates and catechumens ‘chosen by God … elected for a new life’

Laura Keener, Editor

“The sign of an active parish, that the parish is indeed alive with Jesus Christ, is bringing in new members, assisting people to hear God’s voice,” said Bishop Roger Foys at this year’s Rite of Election. “COVID-19 has affected the lives of everyone and every institution, including our parishes, but despite this pandemic you are here. My congratulations to the parish priests and all the people in the parishes you represent, for not only keeping the faith but sharing the faith.”

In two services at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Feb. 21, 46 candidates and 32 catechumens from 23 parishes were presented to Bishop Foys for the Rite of Election. Candidates are baptized Christians seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. Catechumens are unbaptized persons converting to Catholicism. During the Rite of Election Catechumens are accepted as this year’s “elect” — God’s chosen people — and are enrolled in the Book of the Elect. Both the elect and the candidates will enter into full communion with the Church during the Easter Vigil, April 3, at their parish.

During his homily, Bishop Foys explained that the word “election” as it is used in the Church, is quite different from what is familiar in the United States and politics.

“When we hear ‘election’ we think of opposing candidates vying for the same position. One will be a winner. That is not how we mean election in the context of what we do,” he said. “You have been chosen by God, you have been elected for a new a life.”

Bishop Foys acknowledged that on this day, in cathedral churches all over the world , the chosen come together with their sponsors and pastors to “answer God’s call and be enrolled in the body of believers.”

“Each of you has your own story about what it was that you recognized as the call from God — what it was that has led you to this time, to this place, on this day, to answer that call to join the community of believers in the Catholic Church,” Bishop Foys said. “We thank God you are being chosen and for you answering God’s embrace now for a new life.”

Spanish Teacher

Mary, Queen of Heaven (Erlanger), St. Thomas (Ft. Thomas), and St. Catherine of Siena (Ft. Thomas) are seeking applications for an innovative and faith-filled Spanish teacher for kindergarten through eighth grade during the 2021-2022 school year. The ideal candidate will have experience teaching elementary-aged children, have strong communication and organizational skills, and be effective at collaborating with colleagues. This position would be for a total of four and a half days a week: two days at Mary Queen of Heaven, two days at St. Thomas, and one half day at St. Catherine. Qualified applicants should email a cover letter and resume to Principal Julie Scherer at [email protected] by March 19th.

Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, KY (  is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools. The Assistant Superintendent assists the Superintendent in carrying out the primary Diocesan educational mission of transmitting the Catholic faith through quality Catholic education.  The Assistant Superintendent’s role is broad, multi-dimensional, and multi-layered, including such responsibilities as acting as a representative of the Bishop of Covington and being an advocate for Catholic schools in the Diocese; monitoring the quality of the academic programs in schools; maintaining frequent and positive communications with Pastors, principals, and boards (where appropriate); collecting and aggregating specific statistical data for each school; managing Diocese-wide testing at the elementary school level; overseeing, monitoring, and supporting Diocesan professional development activities; and coordinating the Diocesan response to data requests by state and federal agencies. The Assistant Superintendent also assists with the educational administration of the Alliance for Catholic Urban Education (ACUE) schools. Overall, the position encounters a wide diversity of work situations and involves a high degree of complexity with responsibility for advising and decision making in many areas. Candidates must be practicing Roman Catholics in good standing, able and willing to give witness to the Catholic faith at all times, with a Master’s degree in Education/Administration and previous experience in school administrative leadership. Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest along with a comprehensive resume or C-V, recent Baptismal certificate indicating sacramental preparation, and a list of at least five professional references to Stephen Koplyay, SPHR:  [email protected], FAX 859/392-1589, or mail to 1125 Madison Avenue, Covington, KY 41011-3115. EOE

Staff Writer

The Messenger, the Diocese of Covington’s official weekly newspaper published 44 times per year, seeks a full time Staff Writer. Candidates must be practicing Roman Catholics in good standing with the Church. The position requires a broad range of abilities, including excellent writing, proofreading, and organizational skills; basic photography skills; a commitment to confidentiality and teamwork; a passion for completing diverse projects accurately, thoroughly, and reliably; and adaptability to interactions with colleagues, other Diocesan employees, and interviewees. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated and imaginative, with a readiness to explore multimedia platforms. In addition to regular office hours, evening and weekend assignments occur regularly and are considered part of the job. Anticipated start date: immediate. Interested candidates may submit a resume or C-V, at least five references with contact email addresses, and writing samples to Stephen Koplyay by e-mail or by fax, [email protected] or (859) 392-1589.

Account Manager – St. Joseph Academy

St. Joseph Academy is currently hiring a part-time Account Manager with the potential of being full time. The position requires accuracy, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of basic accounting procedures. Competency with Quickbooks, the ability to create well-organized spreadsheets, knowledge of or a willingness to learn Donor Perfect, PayPal, and F.A.C.T.S. is also required. This position supports some administrative needs that are important to ensure we operate within budget and plan effectively for our future needs.   Organizational skills are a must. A flexible work schedule will be considered.  Applicants must have previous bookkeeping experience.  Interested applicants can submit resume and cover letter to Sister Patricia Jean, SJW, Principal at [email protected]

Athletic Director – St. Henry District High School

St. Henry District High School is seeking a candidate for the position of Athletic Director for the 2021-2022 school year. The Athletic Director plans, coordinates, implements, supervises, and evaluates all aspects of the high school athletic program. Please send letter of interest, resume, and references to Dave Gish at [email protected].

Clinical Director of Counseling Programs

The Diocese of Covington’s Catholic Charities ministry is seeking to hire a full-time Clinical Director for our faith-based counseling programs. Fifty percent of the Clinical Director’s responsibilities involves the administrative and clinical supervision of our counseling programs, and supervising our mental health, pregnancy, and adoption programs. Duties include staff coaching, training, accountability and evaluation, programmatic quality, and quantity assurance measures. The remaining fifty percent of the Clinical Director’s responsibilities involves providing direct service outpatient counseling.

Candidate requirements include:

  • actively practicing Roman Catholic in good standing with the Church;
  • a Master’s degree in Social Work (preferred) or Counseling;
  • a minimum of five years’ clinical counseling experience;
  • three years of management or supervisory experience;
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker certification (preferred), or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with supervision designation or supervisor certification eligible;
  • previous experience with diverse populations, which may include children, adults, couples, families, those with mental illness and substance use disorders, life transitions, all income levels, and various cultural backgrounds.
  • experience with DSM 5;
  • an ability to perform all the duties of an independent therapist, and to work either independently or collaboratively;

Salary and benefits are competitive. To apply, or to nominate a candidate, email or fax a letter of interest, C-V or comprehensive resume with compensation history, and a minimum of five references with their contact email addresses to Stephen Koplyay, SPHR at [email protected], fax 859/392-1589.

Parish Kitchen Weekend Staff

The Diocese of Covington’s Parish Kitchen is accepting applications for qualified candidates to help run and serve at Parish Kitchen on the weekends, as part of a two person team.  Depending on your availability, you could be scheduled as little as once a month, or up to 4 or 5 times per month on Saturdays and/or Sundays. Saturday and Sunday hours for Weekend staff are between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., as scheduled. Serving hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Reporting to the Parish Kitchen Manager, the weekend staff oversee all aspects of this operation from opening to closing, including food preparation, dining room setup, offering hospitality and creating a welcoming environment, maintaining order in the dining room and respecting all guests, and clean up. Prior experience in ministry, social work, and/or food is helpful.

Request an application from, or submit a brief resume to Shannon Braun at [email protected]. Questions may be directed to the Manager of the Parish Kitchen at 859-581-7745.

Is it time for the ‘Benedict Option’?

By David Cooley.

St. Benedict of Nursia was born around 480 AD; those were not easy times. Twenty-five years earlier Rome was sacked a third time, this time by the Vandals. And just four years before Benedict was born the last Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed. The whole center of gravity shifted from Rome to Constantinople and Italy was abandoned to the barbarians.

In the midst of this collapse comes a man who doesn’t, as some believe, leave the world behind, but realizes that in the midst of all this chaos he must find a way to stay focused on what truly matters. That was Benedict. Out of that humble beginning formed a community of people living together seeking God and helping anyone that needed them. That community was a social experiment that welcomed barbarians, soldiers and sons of senators all in the same place, and it changed the course of Western civilization.

I think it’s fair to say that we also live in a time of turmoil. But as Catholics, as Christians, this is nothing new for us. Still, somedays, life can be overwhelming. We all have our list of reasons, or excuses, to not be optimistic about the way things are going. But we have to examine that list of reasons and remove anything that puts us in a frame of mind that drags us down into the muck of the world instead of pushing us to live the way God intended us to live.

I don’t always practice what I preach. Some things, just to name a few, that I let get me down and discouraged are the condition of our culture, too much technology and the hostile political climate. I often feel that we rely too much on the powers-that-be to fix issues that aren’t just social-political but moral as well.

This leads me to another thing that gets me down — the state of the Catholic Church. I worry about the fact that a large percentage of people keep drifting away from the sacraments with very few of us knowing what to do about it. And those leaving the Church almost certainly have no idea what they are leaving behind.

One of the blessings in my life is that I always seem to find the right book to read at the right time. As 2020 turned to 2021, I found myself reading a book called “The Benedict Option” by Rod Dreher. The subtitle is “A strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation.” In the book, Mr. Dreher laments that the Church ought to be a powerful counterforce to the radical individualism and secularism of modernity and yet it is often finds itself ineffective in combating the forces of cultural decline. The main argument of the book is that serious Christians need to do the same thing that St. Benedict did in the sixth century. No, not to go live in a monastery — at least not exactly.

Think about it this way, Benedict lived in unprecedented dark times but he was focused, organized and creative. He wasn’t scared to live out the mission of Church, without compromise, no matter what it costed. He read the signs of the times, stayed focused on the Lord and converted people by the way he lived. Everything came down to prayer, work and community.

Mr. Dreher writes: “We have to develop creative, communal solutions to help us hold onto our faith and our values in a world growing ever more hostile to them. We have to choose to make a decisive leap into a truly counter-cultural way of living Christianity, or we will doom our children and our children’s children to assimilation.” What he is talking about is no easy task, and it does require a type of withdrawal from the world. The Benedict Option is a strategic spiritual withdrawal, not necessarily a physical one.

So, where do we start? Luckily, we already have small Catholic communities established — we call them parishes. Parishes are all part of Local Church (or diocese) but strategically placed throughout the neighborhoods of Northern Kentucky. If we can convert the neighborhoods then we can convert the city. If we reach the city then we could win over the state. If we transform the state then, maybe, we can’t save the culture. Then again maybe we can’t, but we are still supposed to try.

How we do all this is where the creativity and innovation come in. We can start small, in our own homes, in our families and in small groups of families. We must preserve our history and traditional Christian values. As disciples of Christ we are called to work together, keep building each other up, and challenge the world to seek the good, the true and the beautiful.

“At the root of the collapse of the West, there is a cultural identity crisis,” said Cardinal Robert Sarah. “The West no longer knows who it is, because it no longer knows and does not want to know who made it, who established it, as it was and as it is. Many countries today ignore their own history. This self-suffocation naturally leads to a decadence that opens the path to new, barbaric civilizations.”

Perhaps the West is doomed to fall again, but, we know that God is always in charge and that we are never completely helpless. If you feel overly concerned, I recommend reading “The Benedict Option.” The book offers a critique of modern culture but also tells stories of Christians today who are pioneering creative ways to live out the faith joyfully and counter-culturally. It is both humbling and inspiring at the same time.

St. Benedict responded to the collapse of Roman civilization by founding a monastic order. The question before us now is: how will we face the vast and unique challenges of our times?

David Cooley is co-director and office manager of the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization.

Business Manager – St. Henry District High School

St. Henry District High School is seeking a candidate for the position of Business Manager.  Responsibilities include cash management and accounts payable for multiple accounts, Virtus Coordinator, Payroll and Human Resources, Tuition Management, Diocesan Reports and monthly/quarterly Financial Reports. Must be familiar with Quickbooks Accounting Software, Google docs and spreadsheets. Applicants must have previous bookkeeping experience, degree preferred. Send resumes and cover letter to [email protected].